Tesla has filed several building permit applications for the Fremont factory, which suggests that manufacturing upgrades might be underway for the refreshed Model 3.

As per one publicly available document dated August 1, 2023, seen by InsideEVs on the official City of Fremont website, Tesla is installing tools in its assembly building. In the application information section, Tesla mentioned mechanical and electrical components worth $250,000.

In another filing dated July 31, 2023, a licensed contractor would be installing fire sprinklers in one of the factory mezzanines. There are several such tool installation filings listed on the government website, but it’s unclear which models the upgrades are exactly for.

Last week, a drone pilot released aerial footage indicative of a production stoppage at the Fremont factory. CEO Elon Musk even stated during the Q2 2023 earnings call that factory upgrades would lead to production downtime during Q3 2023.

Multiple prototype sightings from recent days suggest that testing is underway for the Cybertruck and the so-called Model 3 Project Highland. The former is arguably the most anticipated vehicle of recent years, and a study revealed the majority of current US Model 3 owners want the Cybertruck next. 

Low-volume production of the electric truck is expected to begin later this year at Gigafactory Texas, followed by mass production early in 2024. The production timeline for the Model 3 facelift is guesswork since Tesla hasn’t shared any official information, but some reports suggest that it could begin in Q3 2023.

In the first half of 2023, Tesla witnessed a record year in terms of production and deliveries. Model 3 and Model Y production nearly doubled compared to the first half of 2022, and the latter even garnered the title of the world’s best-selling car of any category, in Q1 2023.

Some reports, and Musk’s predictions, indicate that the Model Y could dethrone Toyota Corolla to become the world’s best-selling car this year.

However, the electric crossover has been scrutinized over its range lately. A latest Consumer Reports survey revealed that the Model Y’s range is notably lower than EPA estimates even under warm weather conditions.

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