New Drone Flyover Of Tesla’s Massive Lathrop Facility

NOV 20 2018 BY MARK KANE 22

Progress at the Tesla Lathrop facility is clear from this flyover video.

The latest flyover videos at the newest Tesla Lathrop facility reveals that the progress is swift (compared to 8 days earlier). The roof is still being installed, but soon it should be completed.

It’s expected that the 870,000 sq ft building under construction will become Tesla’s distribution hub to handle growing production of Tesla Model 3. On the sides of the facility, you can see a line of openings, which probably will be used by semi-trailers loaded with Teslas.

Source: Teslarati

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22 Comments on "New Drone Flyover Of Tesla’s Massive Lathrop Facility"

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“On the sides of the facility, you can see a line of openings, which probably will be used by semi-trailers loaded with Teslas.”

Those opening are four feet off the ground, like a loading dock. The openings will be used to unload tractor trailers, not car carriers. If they were to be used to store new Tesla cars, the openings would be at ground level to drive the Tesla cars into and out of the building (or the Tesla cars will drive themselves in the not to distant future). I believe this structure will instead be used as Tesla’s parts warehouse for Tesla Service Centers, collision repair shops, and auto mechanic repair shops.

Getting close. I believe Tesla are moving a large amount of parts storage to this facility, to free up space at Fremont so they can create new lines.

Tesla will use a just in time delivery from Lathrop to Freemont.

Or maybe this will be the destination for most or all parts shipped in by suppliers, to be distributed both to the Fremont Assembly Plant and also to service centers as needed.

But Impartial Observer is certainly correct to say that openings 4 ft. off the ground are almost certainly not going to be used to load cars off of, or onto, car carrier trucks. Maybe they’re just windows; maybe some will be loading docks. Maybe some of both.

In case you have not noticed the building is a big “T”. Ground level loading is done at the upper extremes of the T shown at the beginning (5 secs) and end of the video (6 min).

I don’t know who said it was a distribution center. Seems to me more likely to be where they build the Semi and or TMY. Almost a million square foot to store TM3 indoors when you could put them on a parking lot.

They could even put up a large tent to enclose the parking lot and keep the cars shielded from the elements, and from prying eyes who want to count Tesla’s unsold inventory of cars.
⛺️ 🚗 👀

I understand the zoning of the building is for warehousing. Not heavy industry/manufacturing.

Where did you find that information from?

My thoughts as well

Shame that the roof is not made os solar pannels…

I bet that they will install solar panels, but that is done after the roof and electrical systems are complete.


They haven’t finished the roof on the Gigafactory in Sparks yet. I think and hope that there focusing on profitability. The roofs will come. I don’t know if Tesla is even making solar panels now, or if it’s just roof solar tiles.

My understanding is that Tesla’s Buffalo plant (so-called “Gigafactory 2”) has started production of commercial solar panels — not just solar roof tiles — and that installation of solar panels on the roof of Gigafactory 1 started shortly after the Buffalo plant started making those panels.

Who said it is not? Panels are the last thing you want to install over the roof.

Solar on GF1 makes much more sense.

While they could build the building with a future purpose / resellability aspect, it might be a hint that the building being so tall would make it more than a motor vehicle distribution center. Could use a parking lot in the desert for cheaper distribution hub.
Parts distribution would likely be better managed out of smaller regional distribution centers.
I’m leaning toward production facility.

Semi, or pickup?

Agreed. The building is at least 3-story tall, and too massive for a part distribution center or short term car storage. Here’s hoping they use it for the Semi factory and upcoming Model Y.

I think they learned from Fremont GA4 (the tent), and make this facility a giant permanent “tent” in term of structural simplicity. That’s probably why it’s building up so quickly.

What exactly did Tesla learn from the Fremont tent? To not do it again? That tent has many large openings on its side. Due to the recent California forest fires, the air quality in Fremont and in that open tent is/was very bad and hazardous to your health. In an enclosed building the air conditioning system would filter the air inside the building to safe levels. To my knowledge, Tesla didn’t shut down the assembly line in its tent and wait for the smoke condition to abate and air quality to return to normal levels. Draw your own conclusions about whether Tesla is putting profits ahead of worker safety.

We can be pretty sure that Tesla wasn’t doing anything in those tents which required “clean rooms”, such as painting or painting pre-wash.

It’s an interesting idea that Tesla might be installing a Semi Truck assembly line at this new facility. I’ve been wondering where they will assemble that, or if Tesla would instead partner with an existing large truck manufacturer for the purpose.

I still think it’s more likely that Tesla will install a Semi Truck assembly line at Gigafactory 1, because labor is cheaper in Nevada than in California. But of course, I could be wrong on that point.

Love it, Tesla invests and invests and invests and doesn’t care about “paying a dividend” for years. Well done.

Lots of flat rooftop area on several buildings. Would really like to see some solar panels on those rooftops.