Tesla Model Y production for Europe likely to begin mid-year

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Tesla has announced on its European websites that production of the relatively new Model Y is expected to start ‘mid 2021’. This production will take place entirely in the new factory near Berlin.

To date, Tesla has not specified a specific start date for the start of European production. The company now does so on its European sites, when selecting the Model Y. Elon Musk has a short video of the Berlin factory posted on Twitter, showing construction and completion progressing fairly quickly. This is the so-called Gigafactory 4, in Grünheide, east of Berlin. The completion of this factory is crucial for the European delivery of the Model Y, because only this Berlin factory will be used for this.

The production in Gigafactory 4 also brings some innovations to the production of the Model Y. The most important is the integration of the new 4680 battery cells. These cells have a length of 80mm and a diameter of 46mm and are a lot larger than the 2170 cells from Panasonic that Tesla now uses in the Model 3 and Model Y. The new cells are also larger than the relatively older 18650 cells in the Model S. Normally, this enlargement would cause heat problems, but the tabless design means the electrons don’t have to travel as long in the cells. Tesla said last year that the 4680 cells will enable a range that is 16 percent higher, which appears to be mainly achieved through a new form factor that improves the power-to-weight ratio. This is partly due to the fact that relatively less casing is required in relation to the energy content.

Production of the Model Y has already started at the Tesla factory in Shanghai and the Model Y’s have been rolling off the production line in Fremont for some time. This model, along with the Model 3, makes up the lion’s share of Tesla’s deliveries. Recently, the quarterly figures showed that Tesla delivered 499,550 cars in all of 2020 and produced 509,737. The manufacturer delivered 442,511 units of the Model 3 and Y combined, and a total of 454,932 were produced.

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