Tesla Wants to Launch Berlin Model Y This October08/16/2021
After months of delays, Tesla’s Berlin-Brandeburg plant is expected to be on its way to launch in the just a matter of weeks. Tesla CEO Elon Musk indicated a couple of days ago that the automaker expects the plant, the company’s first in Europe and second outside the US, to begin producing the Model Y starting this October. Earlier this summer the CEO lamented that the plant had become mired in “bureaucratic hell,” as the automaker raced to get the facility ready amid record EV demand in Europe.
The Model Y will be the first model the Berlin-Brandenburg plant is expected to produce, and is easily the most important vehicle for the automaker, both now and over the next couple of years. Besides the Fremont, California, plant, Tesla currently produces the Model Y in Shanghai, with the Austin, Texas, and Berlin plants being the two next planned locations.
The Model Y itself is due for an update, with Tesla planning to give it a refresh that will include a structural battery pack featuring the upcoming 4680 cells—the same ones that are also bound for planned Cybertruck production. The 4680 cells, promising greater energy density, lower weight and a longer range, are expected to give the Berlin-made Model Y a range boost, though the extent of that boost is not known at the moment. Tesla said during 2020 Battery Day that it aimed for a range boost of up to 54%—a very significant bump—that could potentially bring the range of the Model Y to between 450 and 500 miles.
Giga Berlin-Brandenburg county fair & factory tour on 9 October!
Of course, there are a large number of factors at play with the implementation of this new tabless battery design, so it’s a little early to talk about what increases we could see in the EPA-rated here in the states.
If production of the Model Y—with the 4680 cells—starts in Berlin without further delays, we should soon get an idea of the range increases the Model Ys could expect. However, before Model Y buyers in Europe (and in the US) receive the updated crossovers, buyers in Europe could receive Chinese-built Model Ys in a matter of days. The first ship with Model Ys from Shanghai was reported to be en route to Europe a couple of weeks ago, with the first examples spotted in Europe on car carriers just days ago.
Plans to launch Model Y production in Berlin and Austin after Shanghai underscore just how important the Model Y has become to Tesla, and how relatively less important some other models have become. Model S and Model X production had been absent for a large part of this year, but appears to have minimally affected Tesla’s profitability over the past two financial quarters. Other upcoming models like the Cybertruck, on the other hand, are not expected to be a significant factor in sales outside the US at all.
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