Tesla Invest $216 Million Into Model 3 Battery Line At Gigafactory

Tesla Model 3



Production Of 2170 Battery Cells At Gigafactory

Tesla is investing $216 million into the Gigafactory for Model 3 battery cell production.

As of right now, battery modules for the Model 3 are reportedly hand built by some 150 Gigfactory employees. Sources say it takes close to 10 minutes to finish just one battery module for the Model 3.

Each battery module has 7 sections, so it’s clear this is a painfully slow process.

The $216 million investment will fully automate the process and cut down module time from 10 minutes to just 10 seconds, according to reports.

This investment, reportedly announced yesterday in a meeting at the Fremont factory by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, is broken down as follows in exclusive video format by Ben Sullins of Teslanomics.

Spending Breakdown


Here’s Teslanomics’ exclusive, detailed video on the battery investment:

Video description:

“Currently, the Tesla Model 3 batteries being made at Gigafactory 1 in Reno, NV are manually assembled. Workers carefully remove the battery cells from the boxes and compile them into complete modules which they then later combine into the full car battery. With nearly 75 workers on the assembly line running 24 hours a day (75 emps * 2 shifts = 150 total) they are managing about 20 modules per day. That’s is a paltry pace and extremely expensive. So Tesla decided it’s time to upgrade.”

Separately, Teslarati cites “sources” for the following information:

“Tesla’s automated production line will produce over 4,000 battery modules per day. It’s worth noting that the battery modules being built are “specific to the Model 3” says our source…”

“According to our source, the base Model 3, as of now, will start at 60kWh. This capacity comes in higher than what we original expected and should deliver more range than Tesla had originally announced. Tesla is reportedly concentrating on the production of the premium battery at first, which is slated to be 74kWh.”

Tesla just recently put out a Model 3/Model S comparative graphic showing a range of 215+ miles for the Model 3. We’d have to assume the 60 kWh version will check in right around 215 miles then and that the 74 kWh version will be significantly higher.

Tesla Model S vs Model 3 Comparison sheet (via TeslaModel3 Owners Club/Imgur)

Source: Teslanomics on YouTube, Teslarati

Categories: Tesla

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114 Comments on "Tesla Invest $216 Million Into Model 3 Battery Line At Gigafactory"

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“We’d have to assume the 60 kWh version will check in right around 215 miles”

Why would you assume that? The leaked comparison chart was deliberately vague on range and was meant to talk up the Model S in comparison. Given the better aero of the Model 3, and Tesla’s commitment to motor and inverter efficiency, I see no reason why the Model 3 can’t at least match the range of the Bolt if their battery sizes do end up being equal.

The 215 was the reveal target, so given that they want to push the S/X, it makes sense just to say 215+ even if the range has increased from the reveal.

However, remember that the Bolt is smaller and almost certainly lighter, so don’t expect a 3 to beat it on ratings.

Oh, and key reasons to increase to 60kWh would be for performance or Supercharging speed targets. Any increased range might just be a side-effect.

The Bolts battery is at 65 kWh. The Tesla rumors have been at around 55 kWh, which I hope it not true since that would be weak.

Elon has implied that the Model 3 will beat the Bolt on range, but I think he will cheat to achieve that and make it an option and not a base package range.

250 miles highway is a nice round number. It is also a nice round number in metrics translating into 400 km (or rather 402, so really 400+ 😉 )

It is important psychology… 300 something km is a lot less than 400 something km even if it is 395 vs. 402.

Nah, I think the base Model 3 will beat the Bolt on highway range. 60 kwh battery paired with better aerodynamics, state of the art battery, controller, etc … will let it solidly beat the Bolt’s 217 mile highway range.

The Bolt’s 255 city range will beat the Model 3’s city range, due to lighter weight. Combined range of the Model 3 will edge out the Bolt, my guess for the Model 3 is 240 miles combined range, 245 highway and 235 city.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see two battery packs for the Model 3 that book-end the Bolt. One with less range that has a lower base price than the base Bolt MSRP, and an optional battery with a longer range than the Bolt at a slightly higher price than the Bolt MSRP.

That is a solid prediction.

I do predict that Tesla will juxtapose the 35k price with the top range when discussing tbe model 3. Not so much to say explicitly you get both, but many people may erroneously make the connection.

Yes, it is like when you look at how car companies advertise their pickup trucks. You might see a car maker tout their line of trucks as having:

* Best class MPG
* Lowest base price
* Highest available payload
* Highest available torque
* Fastest 0-60 in class
* 30,000 lb towing capacity


But you don’t get all those in the same pickup. The MPG rating is based off of a SWB rear-wheel drive with the base engine. The towing capacity is based on a LWB dual rear wheel vehicle with an optional engine and additional equipment. The fastest 0-60 is based off a single rear wheel vehicle with a completely different optional engine. etc.

Some completely uneducated consumers might wrongly think they get all of those in one vehicle. but 99% of actual buyers know how this works and aren’t confused.

That’s pretty optimistic to say 99% of buyers aren’t confused. There are a lot of absolutely clueless buyers. I doubt even 50% are fully aware of the sort of shenanigans you’re talking about.

Range is always better in the city than on the highway. More regeneration due to frequent deceleration.

@Joe, You said: “Range is always better in the city than on the highway.”. This is true for other EV’s with not so good drag coefficient, but if you look at EPA site Tesla Model S has better highway MPGe than city, mainly because of better drag coefficient than other EV’s.

From http://www.fueleconomy.gov

2017 Tesla Model S AWD – P100D
MPGe: City MPG:92 Highway MPG:105

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
MPGe: City MPG:150 Highway MPG:122

So, it’s not like Tesla is good at highway. It’s more like it’s terrible in city driving. Maybe because of poor regenerative braking system efficiency.

How disingenuous to compare a car with the acceleration of a Bugatti Veyron to a car with the acceleration of a Prius.


The European test cycle is notorious for handing out higher mpg/range numbers compared to the US cycle. So even if the US EPA range numbers are lower than 250, the NEDC numbers may be over 400. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Mikael said:

“The Bolts battery is at 65 kWh.”

Factually incorrect; it’s just 60 kWh.

“The Tesla rumors have been at around 55 kWh, which I hope it not true since that would be weak.”

LOL! That would be “more efficient”, not “weak”. You can be sure the M3’s 0-60 time will beat the Bolt EV’s. The M3 will certainly have better performance than the Bolt EV. No contest.

But the rumor reported in this article is that the M3 will have a base battery pack of 60 kWh. That’s possible; Tesla may have tweaked the M3’s pack size upward, following GM’s announcement that the Bolt EV has a range of 238 miles. I’m sure Tesla would like the Model 3 to exceed that, even with the base pack size.

“…remember that the Bolt is smaller and almost certainly lighter, so don’t expect a 3 to beat it on ratings.”

But the M3 has much lower drag than the Bolt EV, not to mention the powertrain is built by Tesla. No offense to LG Electronics, but its automotive division is brand-new. (And yes, I’m aware the Bolt EV powertrain was developed in close partnership with GM engineering.)

I will be very surprised indeed if the M3 doesn’t beat the Bolt EV on the basis of miles per kWh. Note I’m not saying it’s impossible; merely that I think it’s rather unlikely.

Model 3 has higher performance (bigger motor). That makes it less efficient, because the drive train needs to be heavier and stronger. That will be one factor. Also although Model 3 has lower drag coefficient, total drag (frontal area x drag coefficient) is likely to be close to Bolt, because it is wider. It will also be heavier, probably around 500 lbs. So altogether it appears that it will have shorter range for the same battery capacity.

Drastically better aerodynamics will let the Model 3 60 convincingly beat the Bolt on highway range. The Bolt’s weight advantage will let it convincingly beat the Model 3 in the city. Musk will be aiming for the Model 3 to at least edge out the Bolt in combined range.

I don’t think Bolt is the real competitor to Model 3. Model S is the closest competitor. So Tesla has to be very careful how they position Model 3 vs Model S, because I believe there is potential for 50-75% Model S cannibalization.

If the bigger and heavier Model S 60 originally got 208 Miles Range with a Cd of 0.24, and the Model 3 60 comes with a Cd of 0.20, it would suggest a Highway range in excess of the Model S 60 by some % point. Maybe as much as 4/24, or 1/6, for 16% more range, or 33 Miles, for a 241 Miles at the base Model 3.

It might not be as large as that, but it seems that is reasonably the most we should expect from a Model 3 with 60 kWh.

The Model 3 will have lower frontal area than the S, as well as (hopefully) lower Cd. And lower weight, which makes a difference in the EPA highway test because of braking and acceleration. I believe these will add up to more of an advantage than 16%.

I remember early discussions were Elon was talking about the goal being for the model three to be 20% more efficient than the model S.

I believe at the reveal they were planning a 50 kWh battery to achieve the 215 miles range. If this new information about the 60 kWh battery is correct, it is probably in response to the Bolt, and will surpass its range.

Yeah that is what I’ve been thinking as well about the 60 kwh battery and longer range in response to the Bolt.

agzand — you are thinking the way ICE cars work. EV’s don’t work like that. In many cases, a more powerful motor actually takes LESS energy to complete a test cycle. The difference in motor weights is nowhere as large as replacing a 4-cyl with a V8 in a gas car, so weight is not a big deal. And the change in actual rotating mass is even smaller, unlike in a gas car where 4 more pistons and rods and twice the crankshaft, etc greatly increase rotational mass. At WOT, yes the larger EV motor would indeed consume more electricity. But there are no WOT runs in the EPA test cycle. So it comes down to which motor can stay in its range of efficiency for more of the test. More powerful motors also tend to have wider ranges where they are at their peak efficiency, and they don’t over-strain at the same range. GM actually showed this with their SparkEV, with their 400 ft-lb high torque motor that returned very good efficiency. If you want to bench race the two motors against each other, what you would need to do is obtain a table for each motor showing their… Read more »

You said it yourself, rotational mass. A more powerful drive train will have more rotational mass, doesn’t matter if it runs on electricity or cow dung. It is basic physics.

Thanks for proving you know nothing about electric motors.

1) It is entirely possible to build an electric motor that is more powerful than some other electric motor, and still have LESS rotating mass, based upon different motor designs. Sadly you will never understand this.

2) Even when the rotating mass of one motor is more than another motor, the rotating mass is not the only factor that determines efficiency. On the other hand, the efficiency numbers for an electric motor include the effects of rotating mass on the motor. So comparing rotating mass is pointless. Comparing efficiency is all that matters.

I’m sorry that you don’t understand how electric motors work.

Jeeze! Both of you are equally sure of the other’s incompetence, but you both make the same mistaken assumption that you want to minimize rotational mass.

As anyone who has ever fiddled with any engine ought to know, whether on a motorbike or a car, ICE engines actually employ *flywheels* that are rather heavy in order to obtain a sufficient rotational mass not to have a jerky engine! Even race car engines have (lighter) flywheels, even though the emphasis there is obviously much more on responsiveness and much less on comfort.

Now IDK whether an electric motor necessarily needs to have the same mechanism. I would think you could more easily fake a flywheel feel in software given the ability to instantly control torque precisely at the millisecond scale, possibly eliminating the need for a physical flywheel.

In any case, in terms of the overall weight of the vechicle this is really small stuff and pretty darn irrelevant. Both of you get an F, in my humble opinion.

Well, to be more precise I suppose I should say the race car engine has a flywheel for the sake of “driveability”; as I wrote it one could get the impression I think there is any emphasis on comfort in a race car. There really isn’t, except indirectly because many of the things that are relevant to comfort do affect driveability and how easy it is for the driver to not crash and complete a full race distance without passing out!

“you both make the same mistaken assumption that you want to minimize rotational mass.”

You clearly didn’t read my posts. I absolutely didn’t say that. Please go back and re-read my posts.

But, Nix, didn’t you say: “Thanks for proving you know nothing…It is entirely possible to build an electric motor…
and still have LESS rotating mass…”

That reads like you are saying that lowering rotating mass is a good thing.

I don’t know why the bicker, and throwing “F” grades around? It would be great to be hear more about how to get KW’s up with less mass, but it sure seems that as the KW spec goes up pretty much all electric motors get more mass (well, ok, bigger).

No, that’s not what I was saying at all.

OK, you two experts, please explain why Tesla performance models get lower range than non performance models? If it is not for more powerful drive train, what is it then?

Many things Agz.

You just over saturated the motor, and because it’s a squirrel gage type, over saturation gives you more power or torque or r.p.m, whatever, but it comes with lose.

Over clocking the inverter could also drain your P.F. power factor, so efficiency goes down also.

Bigger motor tend to have better efficiency for the reason that when you’re dealing with more power, it is a good thing, or mandatory, to avoid heat loss that rise operating cost and reduce engine life cycle.

Just to be clear, some motor are more efficient than other no matter what size they are, but squeezing too much kW out of it will reduce its efficiency at some point.

Other point, would the Control Contractor be Control Contactor?

OK, so in reality the range drops for the higher performance models, but a bunch of supposedly experts claim higher performance doesn’t affect range and it is actually beneficial. I guess everyone can draw their own conclusions. Enough said.

On top of what Djoni said, the P versions have different reduction gear ratios than the non-P cars. They also use different inverters. That along with different standard wheel/tires and what Djoni said explain the differences.

Thank you. At last, someone gets to the heart of the matter. Higher performance EVs are not less efficient because they have more powerful, or bigger, motors; they have lower efficiency because of differences elsewhere in the EV powertrain.

I think it’s mostly the performance tires.

What ARE you talking about- flywheels on an electric motor? Never heard of it. Rotational mass [& total motor mass] reduction is a GOOD thing–http://www.launchpnt.com/portfolio/aerospace/hybrid-electric-uav-motors

When Terawatt finally grows up, hopefully he’ll quit arguing with those who know more than he does about any given subject.

RE: 60KWh = 215mi

Tesla doesn’t use regen braking (in the EPA cycle). Already higher inertia (than the ~3,800lb Bolt) will also hurt Model 3 whether total car, or just motor.

Having both “PD” and regular Model S (AWD) rear motors, I’d admit it is real hard to make the larger motor car even, in terms of Wh/mi efficiency. I suspect they tighten up well at (fictitious?) steady speeds, but even being ginger on/off those motors and the larger one’s spendy’ness show up.

The Bolt was an almost “one goal” car. Range is the caviar that goes with, um, everything else. My bet is the M3 60 won’t be near 238, but Tesla will introduce/advertise with the larger battery, at >250.

Are you sure that “Tesla doesn’t use regen braking (in the EPA cycle).”?

Indeed, it seems highly unlikely. I can’t figure out how that would even be possible, without physical alterations to the car.

@Nix, you said: “But just saying the more powerful motor is automatically less efficient is ICE thinking. It simply doesn’t apply in the electric motor world.” The difference between Model S 85D and P85 D is the rear motor. 85D has 193 KW motor while P85D has 375 KW motor, front motors are the same at 193 KW. EPA rates 85D at 270 miles range vs 253 miles for P85D. MPGe and power consumption are similar, 85D are more efficient than P85D. http://fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=37239&id=37241

HN — The P85D and the P85 use different reduction gear ratios, and have different stock tire/wheel sizes. Please see my posts about final drive ratios impacting efficiency.

The difference in tire size to range has been well documented and needs no further comment.

agzand said:

“Also although Model 3 has lower drag coefficient, total drag (frontal area x drag coefficient) is likely to be close to Bolt, because it is wider.”

I firmly disagree. The Bolt EV is taller; the Model 3 is wider. I doubt there is much difference in total frontal area between the two, so you’re right on that. But contrary to what you claim, the M3 has significantly better coefficient of drag. Let’s not underestimate the very important difference there; it’s the same thing that let the Model S achieve a much better total drag than the Nissan Leaf, altho their frontal areas are roughly the same.

Tesla’s commitment is to cost, volume, and performance. Efficiency measures that add more production cost than they save on batteries will be passed on.

One question is about timing.
Does this investments announcement now mean the equipment will be up and running in time for mass production later this year?

How many packs can a crew of workers assemble manually ? Those packs must just be for alpha, RC test vehicles? But any cars delivered in July , August must be getting hand assembled packs as well?

Yeah, I expect this means that large scale production is still a ways out.

“How many packs can a crew of workers assemble manually ? ”


“With nearly 75 workers on the assembly line running 24 hours a day (75 emps * 2 shifts = 150 total) they are managing about 20 modules per day.”

At 15 modules per pack that’s 1.5 packs per day.

We don’t know the timing of the construction, just that they “are investing”. I’d expect the construction started some time ago and that when they say they aim to produce 1,000 model 3s per week by late July, that must include this production line being complete and producing sufficient modules. No way they plan to hand-assemble that many.

Of course this is just one of hundreds of production lines gearing up for mass production, which is why I’ve been saying no way they actually hit that goal. Something is going to hold it up.

It’s the suppliers fault is something I am sure is something we will hear.

I agree though that a little bit of info like when this line is expected to be in would have made for a much better article.

Elon has repeatedly said that Gigafactory 1 is “not in the critical path” for Model 3 production. In other words, he’s claiming that the pace of building out Gigafactory 1 is well ahead of what Model 3 production will need at every point.

If they are actually behind in building the production line for assembling M3 packs, then what Elon said is flat wrong. And frankly, I doubt that. Tesla has had plenty of time to plan ahead; I can’t see them only just now realizing “Heck, we need a production line to assemble those Model 3 battery packs!”

A lot of the info in this article is suspect, including the claim that the base M3 battery pack will have 60 kWh. I would treat all the info here as nothing but rumor. That includes the suggestion here that Tesla is only just now investing in a mass production line for M3 battery packs.

Let the speculations begin!

I predict 250 miles / 400 km range from the 60 kWh battery because Tesla will have done every possible thing to make the model 3 one of the most efficient electric car in production.

Will they have made it from CFRP and aluminium like the BMW? I’d like to see what Tesla battery tech in a BMW chassis could give us.

It won’t have the advanced materials for the body, but it will be a lot more aerodynamic and I’d bet the system efficiency of filling the battery to putting power to the rubber is going to be better than the i3 design.

M3 will have good efficiency, but it will not likely approach the top dogs Ioniq and Prime. I think it the M3 60D will be about the same as the smaller Bolt, getting back a deficit in the city with better highway mileage.

It doesn’t make sense to make it the most efficient. It is supposed to be a cheap car. Efficiency is not the target. So a cheap, less efficient solution is the way to go, vs a fancy high tech solution that costs more.

higher efficiency reduces how much battery is needed to travel the same distance. Less battery reduces the price. That is how making the car as efficient as possible for the dollar, will reduce the cost of the car.

How many years for 250 miles range to fall to 73 miles? (Original AER of Leaf), if its more than 10 Years then it is game set and match for EVs

A 250 mile range with the latest battery technology from Tesla’s latest research will likely never drop anywhere near that low over the useful life of the vehicle (20+ years).

Based on Tesla’s old batteries, they “simulated over 500,000 miles on it and that it was still operating at over 80% of its original capacity.”


But since they did that, Tesla’s researchers have found a way to double the lifetime of the new 2170 cells. Once those research advancements make it into production (date unknown) it may be possible to drive a million miles and still have 200 miles of range available after 1 million miles of operation.


“10 minutes per section” not module. Thought the numbers didn’t quite add up there 🙂

Yeah, more likely 1.2 hours per module, which is about 20 modules per day. At that rate, it’ll take 55 years to fill 400K cars!

Using 75 employees for about 1.2 hours and $30 per 1.2hrs ($20 pay, $10 benefits), that works out to $2250 per module just for the labor.

Assuming 55 kWh, that’s $40/kWh for battery assembly.

Assuming $150/kWh cell cost, pack would be $190/kWh.

55 kWh pack would cost about $11K. For $35K MSRP, Tesla 3 minus battery would have to be $24K at retail. Assuming gas engine is about $4K, Tesla 3 would be about that of $28K gasser: not a luxury car.

I wonder if this is also the cost for Bolt battery pack. If so, I don’t see how GM could be losing any money by selling Chevy Cruze hatch ($22K) type of car for $37.5K ($15.5K higher). Rather, they’d be making about $3K more profit than Cruze hatch.

Modules and sections are even more confusing. I should’ve said “cars” instead of modules and sections are actually modules. Each car would have 7 sections (modules).

“Assuming gas engine is about $4K”

Actually, you would need to calculate in the cost of the multi-speed transmission too. These days a good transmission can be another $4K.

$4K includes the transmission. Basically, I half the retail cost in my estimate for manufacturer.

BMW 320i new short block not rebuilt (11002420319) retail price is $17,012. (add $2K for the turbo — not included).

BMW 320i new automatic transmission not rebuilt (24008684782) retail price $11,802

That just shows BMW = Brutal Money Waster

Engine and transmission is not much more than a chunk of metal with hole and slots in them. It shouldn’t cost $8K, let alone $17K. Development cost is high if done from scratch (ie, new car company), but that isn’t the case with legacy carmakers.

I totally agree with your sediment towards BMW. But it is no secret that the BMW 3-Series and Audi A4 have been the perennial leaders of the market sector that the Model 3 is intended to compete in. So when trying to reverse engineer to a competitor, BMW and Audi is who needs to be used.

Audi automatic transmission is $8,990 MSRP. Engine is 16K including core charge, very similar to BMW.

This is why Tesla has been smart to intentionally target these markets, instead of trying to compete in the compact economy car market where engine+transmission costs of $4k would be realistic. By intentionally targeting markets that already have much higher engine+transmission costs, Tesla is able to be much more competitive even with an expensive battery+electric motor.

Model S 60 gets 210 range (RWD) and S 75 gets 249, so safe to assume Model 3 with same size packs will get more b/c it’s lighter and more aerodynamic. How much more? Don’t really know, but if you swag 10% then Model 3 60 gets 230 (close enough to Bolt for me) and 3 75 gets maybe 270.

Once pre-orders are filled and I can test drive one, I’m looking to get a Model 3 75 AWD for max range, and hoping I can get that for less than $45k with a few more options. Won’t pay for autopilot up front but may upgrade OTA later.

Right o,
“but if you swag 10%”

Maybe more than 10%. Boltev gets 119 MPGe. Model S 75 around 100.

So 19% gets M3 @ 296 miles.

” Tesla is reportedly concentrating on the production of the premium battery at first, which is slated to be 74kWh.”

The Model S 75D RWD has 249 miles range. If model 3 is 25% better on MPGe then that puts the Model 3’s range at 311.


A Model 3 75 with a 300+ range is simply fantasy.

Why? My 2015 Leaf averages 4.5 miles per kWh city driving and high 3s on the highway.

If the Model 3 is even 20% less efficient than the Leaf, that suggests 300 miles of range city. 75 x 4 = 300

You can’t compare Leaf as the power is nowhere near what Tesla 3 will deliver. Better comparison is Bolt.

Tesla 3 drive train will be less efficient than Bolt (induction vs permanent magnet), and Bolt is rated 119 MPGe. EPA highway rating is about 45 MPH average speed with lots of braking. Even if Tesla 3 gets better efficiency in constant highway speed, it will probably be rated less than Bolt by EPA.

You can see an effect of EPA rating from SparkEV vs BMW i3 (old 22 kWh version). SparkEV has better efficiency at constant speed even at 70 MPH, yet it is rated 119 MPGe vs 124 MPGe for i3. That’s because i3 is lighter, and constant braking in EPA testing would favor lighter car. Similar would occur with lower efficiency drive train Tesla 3 vs Bolt.

I guess you missed that the Model 3 is permanent magnet.

Tesla ordered a metric assload of neodymium magnets from a Chinese firm for Model 3 motors.

Source for the magnets: http://www.indmin.com/Article/3602814/Tesla-signs-permanent-magnet-supply-deal.html

If Tesla can’t beat old Leafs, that will be disappointing.

I would expect especially the dual motor but even the single motor Model 3 to have better regen braking than the leaf due to the bigger battery and more powerful motor being able to charge more rapidly during braking.

We’ll know for sure soon enough.

But yeah, permanent motor. Surprised there haven’t been articles about this yet.

Permanent magnet is a surprise if they do that. Assload is an understatement if they are to meet Tesla 3 demand! Frankly, I wonder if they’ll be able to get enough.

There are a lot of motors in a Model 3 besides the traction motors.

Beside the main motor there are a lot of smaller motors in a car for power windows, open roof, wipers, pumps, airco. I suspect those are permanent magnet motors not the main drive unit. Tesla has never used permanent magnet motors on previous cars. I don’t think they will on the Model 3. But then again they optimize according to situation like explained in the following article so everything is possible.


SparkEV —

“Even if Tesla 3 gets better efficiency in constant highway speed, it will probably be rated less than Bolt by EPA.”

That is entirely possible. And folks using the TM3 for longer road trips will likely beat the EPA rating due to the weight issue. While folks stuck in stop/go traffic most of the time will likely do better in the Bolt.

On the good side, the difference in efficiency in stop/go daily commuting traffic can easily be mitigated by simply buying one more solar panel and generating any added electricity that might be needed for local stop/go commuting. Where for roadtrips what you care about is having enough juice to make it to the next charger and then charging quickly.

bro1999 said:

“A Model 3 75 with a 300+ range is simply fantasy.”

If Tesla’s original plan for the M3 was 215 miles of EPA range from a 55 kWh pack (not fact, but probably a close estimate), then the same efficiency would yield 293 miles from a 75 kWh pack.

Not quite 300 miles, but if the larger M3 pack does indeed have 74-75 kWh, then with just a touch of hypermiling, we can be sure many Model 3 drivers will get that range of 300+ miles which you have mis-labeled “simply fantasy”.

If the base Model 3 gets a 60kWh battery, it explains why the Model S60 is discontinued.

It does. The Model S will probably soon only come in 90 kWh, 105 kWh and 120 kWh. Leaving a gap down to the 75 kWh Model 3.

Are battery packs different for the Model 3 than the model S and Model X.

Yes. The battery in the M3 is literally all-new, IINM. New cells, new modules, new pack, new everything.

new inverter, new motor…

If they sell the 75 kWh battery upgrade for about $3,000 (15 kWh x $200) then there probably will be almost no base models ordered.

But if they charge $13,000 more like the difference between the S75D and the S90D then a lot fewer people will upgrade including me.

No way it will only cost $3k to upgrade from 60 kwh to 74 kwh. I’d guess at least $10k price difference for the battery upgrade. Hopefully not quite the $13k diff seen in the Model S since the all-new design and production line of the Model 3should be considerably more efficient and affordable per kwh of battery pack.

More like $4-5k. $10k is too much difference on a $35k base car.

With autopilot, performance/premium packages etc. it will still be over $50k loaded.

When you already pay 35000$ adding an extra 3000$ becomes very hard, so 3000$ is not a small amount at all. It is a 3 with 3 zeros!
Remember it is not the Model S or X folks.

Yes, and so? Tesla surely is not expecting as many Model 3 customers to upgrade to the larger pack as Model S customers. Model 3 customers will be much more price-sensitive.

Assuming the same approx. $180/kWh pack-level cost (not price!) for Tesla as the Model S, the additional 15 kWh would come to $2700. But Gigafactory 1 is supposed to produce cheaper cells, so who knows what Tesla’s cost will be?

However, price does not equal cost. Given Tesla’s history, I would expect the markup between smaller and larger battery packs to be greater than $3000. $10,000 seems wildly overpriced, but I would not be at all surprised to see a price in the range of $3500-5000.

Extra on battery price, is the fact that 200$ is the pack level price but a more energetic battery would only have more cells, so it is rather the cells price that should be considered. That one is closer to 100$ than to 200$, likely something like 120$ right now. So we are at 15×120=1800$ extra cost. Even with 20% margin that is 2160$, so less than 3000$ but still an extra 2160$ excluding additional VAT at 6, 15, 21 or 30% according to where you live.

The head scratcher is why was the assembly EVER handled by humans? Who greenlighted the human assembly in the first place, could have automated the process from day one months ago…

Well because you need to see how things work before you make the tooling to do it. Do you think the first few Model 3s rolled off the line built the same way they will all be built? No, they are largely built by hand and then once the kinks are worked out its automated.

This “215 miles+” has been a coy Tesla false flag since Day 1. It promised ‘something’ without specifying anything at all. The metric was that it was going to be over 215 miles EPA with zero confirmation of ‘how much over.’ Even ‘215+’ is an interesting choice in that it is more than double the Leaf 107 and other similar upgrades promised taking double digit to the new triple digit territory. Given that the indications have always been that the CD would be much better than the Bolt and even better than the S, and mucho speculation about better Watts per mile at about 4 miles per kilowatt, the 215+ has been guesstimated at 55 kWh. (The trade off with better CD offsetting slightly lower efficiency of AC versus DC but the added benefit of no rare earth magnets has always been in background of my thoughts about Tesla tech). Net sum with 60 not 55, is that the 3 sedan would be spot on target to equal or slightly better the Bolt hatchback range, so 240+ for the 60 and 300+ for the 74 aka ’75’. Those are likely the Tesla aspiration goals to prove the point. Slightly cheaper,… Read more »

“4 miles” per KWh (250Wh/mi per the Tesla that has a dash). Not going to happen.

2,800lb BMW i3 = 27KWh per 100mi, per EPA. That’s not even 4.

Pray, Model 3 doesn’t use 155mm tires.

I drive a 2012 Leaf, it looks like my long term average is 268W/mi, just going into Winter with heater and it is 344W/mi. If M3 can’t better that after >5yrs more development and research (maybe 10yrs for Tesla since Roadster), that would be pretty disappointing IMO.
250W/mi shouldn’t be that hard to imagine for this newer tech vehicle, so 240mi for 60kWh battery sounds reasonable to me. Even a 55kWh battery should deliver 220mi. I guess we’ll all know in about a month of all goes to plan.

Jason and pj

FYI — I think the two of you may be using very different statistics. The EPA numbers include charging losses. They measure how much electricity it takes to recharge the car after the car completes the test cycle.

But the numbers from the Leaf’s display only measure battery discharge, excluding charging losses. The car has no idea how much electricity is lost during charging.

Bingo Nix.

I3 aerodynamics…ha ha ha.

Cd on a row:
BMW i3 0.29
Prius 0.26
Model S 0.24
Model 3 0.21
High speed range is for 3/4 directly reverse proportional to Cd.
To be honest to CdA, so the i3 will make itself back somewhat on its low A but will still lack on the Model 3 by far.

pjwood1 said:

“4 miles per KWh… Not going to happen.”

Maybe not, but it should be close. The original plan for the Model 3 was apparently ~215 miles from ~55 kWh. That comes to 3.9 miles per kWh.

Keep in mind that the original, single motor 2012 Model S85 came in at 3.12 miles/kWh, and Tesla has apparently upgraded the inverter for better efficiency at least twice since then. I would not be at all surprised if the twin-motor version of the M3 gets 4+ miles per kWh.

As Nix points out, wheel/tire size is important too.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Didn’t we already know that they were going to dump this much $$$ in and more into the factory???


> Sources say it takes close to 10 minutes to finish just one battery module for the Model 3.


> Each battery module has 7 sections, so it’s clear this is a painfully slow process.

If it takes x minutes per module, how does the number of sections per module help make it clear how painfully slow the process is?

Logic. It can bite.

It would be interesting to know how much different the process is for the new battery design. They already got automation for the old battery design, so unless the new design is really quite different they should already have a pretty good grasp on how to automate the new design.
Hand building is just a way to get the concept going, but automation is absolutely necessary for volume and have to imagine they don’t have that line running already with only about a month before volume production is due to start.

Yes, but remember Elon is trying to speed all the production lines up significantly, to achieve higher output from the same space. So Tesla may not be using the same mechanical methods of assembly for the M3 pack that they did for the MS pack.

Still, I suspect things are much further along than the rumors in this article suggest. Tesla, or at least Elon, said Gigafactory 1 is “not in the critical path” for Model 3 production. Presuming he was telling the truth, then progress at the Gigafactory should be well ahead of building the production lines at the Fremont plant.

Since the main purpose of building Gigafactory 1 was to enable Model 3 production, it’s simply not believable to think that Tesla didn’t plan ahead in building automated production lines for building M3 battery packs. In the unlikely event the automated production lines are not yet finished, I think it’s still safe to assume they will be before the target date of July 1. More likely they are now in the process of being tweaked for maximum speed after completion.

If there is a delay in getting the M3 into production, that delay almost certainly won’t occur at Gigafactory 1.

All these posts remind me of one well known Aesop tale of the farmer girl who was heading to her home carrying a basket of chicken eggs on her head, She began to imagine how many chicks will hatch, then growing them to chickens, selling them at the market, and buying a new dress for the ball. Finally she imagined herself in the dress danging in the ball, and jumped with joy. The basket fell off her head and all the eggs were smashed.

Morale of the fable: Don;t count your chickens before they hatch!
Applied here: Don’t boast EV ranges before the cells are made!

I thought the moral of the story was Omelets for Everybody! Yay!


The car will ship in July and they are still making modules by hand? Wow.

Yeah it would seem like early cars will have hand built packs , limiting volume severely. They have been building packs for a while. Some have gone to RC’s
Some are stockpiled? It would seem like the projected spending above would take months to purchase install and test run. Operational October at soonest?

Or maybe, just maybe… what’s reported in this article is rumor, not fact, and at best is outdated info.

I dont get the article (or am I dumb?). As I Understand it it says 10 minutes/module. And 7 modules equals one model 3 battery pack.
I.e. 70 minutes for one pack. 150 workers doing 7 efficient hours per shift would translate to 150*7*60 = 63000 minutes, which would be 6300 modules per 8 hour. Which would be 900 battery packs per day.

But later in the the article it mentions 20 modules per day? I am confused. I will go sit on a stump in the woods and guru meditate on this.

Agree. The whole article makes little sense. If it is really 20 modules with 150 workers, they might as well give up now.

Still odd though that an automated process is not in place yet for a launch this year. Looks like the launch date will be kept at any price to no upset investors. It will be a rocky start with likely output in homeopathic doses.