Tesla’s Kato Road facility in Fremont, California, is constantly being improved, with expansions, upgrades, and new equipment being installed nearly every month, filings seen by Teslarati show.
According to the source, the plant that’s been largely responsible for the production of Tesla’s 4680 battery cells has received improvements since the beginning of the year, with the Materials Lab being expanded in January, followed by the addition of tooling equipment and a revised floor plan.
Then, in February, Tesla updated the exterior break areas for employees and at the beginning of March the company added two new chambers onto one portion of the building but demolished another. The filings quoted by Teslarati show the two new chambers are inside a 5,000-square-foot area in the main building and feature piping, electrical power, and seismic anchorage.
Gallery: Tesla 4680 Batteries
The latest changes were filed on March 14, 2023, and refer to a new Hydraulic Power Unit and two new Post Lifts, which could be part of another expansion, as the documents reveal there is a “newly expanded bed plate.”
The 4680 battery cell was unveiled in September 2020 during Tesla’s Battery Day event, when the company said the new cylindrical cells would increase the range and power of its vehicles. Additionally, the EV maker would use these new batteries in a structural pack that’s designed to make mass assembly easier.
Tesla’s ramp-up in production for this type of battery is still ongoing, with the company reaching an important milestone at the end of last year when it managed to produce almost 900,000 cells in a week, which would be enough for more than 1,000 EVs.
At the beginning of 2023, a limited number of 4680-equipped Model Y crossovers were spotted in Tesla’s inventory, with an estimated range of 269 miles and a starting price of approximately $64,000. Since then, the carmaker has reportedly shifted its focus from Germany to the United States for the 4680-type cells and is currently looking for Asian material suppliers that would lead to lower costs and a speedier production ramp.
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