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: Tesla Unveils New EVs While Fixing Gigafactory Automation Glitches

Tesla Unveils New EVs While Fixing Gigafactory Automation Glitches

28 Nov

During November 2017, Tesla Inc. announced development of two new electric vehicles, the 2019 Tesla Semi and the 2020 Tesla Roadster, during an unveiling at its Hawthorne, California facility.

However, Gigafactory production ramp-up for the company’s Model 3 electric car was delayed three months, due to automation glitches while fabricating the integrated battery packs.

The Tesla Semi is a new electric tractor-trailer that will seek to exceed the performance of diesel-engine “big rig” shipping trucks that are required to pull an 80,000-pound gross weight trailer load:

A new Tesla Roadster was also unveiled during the event with a target production date of 2020, a top speed of 250 miles per hour, 620-mile range with a 200 kilowatt-hour battery pack, and acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than two seconds:

During the same month, Tesla completed installation of a new Supercharger station in Baker, California with 40 charging station sites that will enable more road trips by owners of Tesla Model S, Model X and Model 3 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Nevada. Pictures and directions to Supercharger site can be found at Plugshare.com:

Tesla Supercharger site in Baker, CA has 40 stations available.

Tesla Supercharger site in Baker, CA has 40 stations available.

The company also announced completion of a 100-Megawatt PowerPack installation that will provide electrical energy storage for a wind turbine generator farm installed by Neoen in Hornsdale, Australia. More information is available through this link to a Reuters article:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-power-tesla/tesla-cranks-up-big-battery-in-australia-idUSKBN1DN0B4

Powerpack battery storage systems and solar generation equipment totaling $250,000 were donated to a children’s hospital in Puerto Rico by Elon Musk and Tesla during October 2017, after Hurricane Maria damaged electric utility grid infrastructure on the island. This article from The Verge has more details:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/24/16536972/tesla-puerto-rico-hurricane-relief-solar-power-storage

However, not all went well with Tesla during an anticipated ramp-up of production for the Model S during the third quarter of 2017. The setback was due to a failure by a system engineering consultant to fully implement an automated production line for the vehicle battery pack at the Tesla Gigafactory in Storey County, Nevada. This article from Bloomberg has more information, after an investor “earnings call” for the latest company quarterly financial figures:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-01/tesla-delays-model-3-goals-as-early-bottlenecks-worsen-cash-burn

Tesla engineers re-engineered the automated production line and its software programming, but the production stall created a delay of at least three months. Model 3 production is now projected to reach 5,000 units per month by March 2018, instead of December 2017. A backlogged waiting list of customers with prepaid deposits on the Model 3 will be extended even longer than previously announced by CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla has invested about $2.7 billion of capital into its Gigafactory in northern Nevada since 2014, hiring 1,400 Tesla employees directly, as well as through its partner battery component suppliers, Panasonic Energy (431 employees) and H&T Nevada LLC (44 employees).

By 2024, Tesla has set targets of $5 billion in capital investment with total employees of 6,500 once the Gigafactory is totally constructed and production ramped up to billions of battery cells per year.

The state of Nevada has awarded Tesla a total of $1.2 billion in tax credit abatements, if the company can achieve these goals, including incremental benchmarks reviewed over time.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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