Tesla's New York Gigafactory Starts Solar Roof Tile Production

Federico Mansilla
Enero 13, 2018

Tesla confirmed today that the first two Tesla Model 3 display cars are going to Los Angeles and Palo Alto this Friday.

Distribution of Model 3s around the country will initially be based on where the most reservations for the auto have come from, and Tesla is planning to make the vehicle available for test drives at a to-be-determined time in the future.

The all-electric, consumer-friendly sedan will be on display at Tesla's Palo Alto showroom, offering reservation holders and prospective buyers their first up-close, in-person look at the vehicle. By actively featuring the Model 3 in two of its showrooms in California, Tesla seems to be making a very bold statement - one that suggests that the company is now confident it can scale the compact electric car's production to address the overwhelming demand for the vehicle.

The company is also hiring beyond the approximately 500 employees who are now working on the site. According to a Tesla owners forum, it has 25 charging stalls. It produced only 260 Model 3s out of the projected 1,500 in the third quarter of 2017. That's coming later, the company said in a press release. "When production of the solar roof begins, Tesla will also incorporate Panasonic's cells into the many kinds of solar glass tile roofs that Tesla will be manufacturing".

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Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk pushed the company's anti-selling efforts towards the mass market auto, explicitly reminding customers that the Model 3, despite being the newest vehicle in Tesla's lineup, does not feature superior features compared to its larger, more expensive siblings.

Despite the lag, the company set a sales record for 2017, delivering 101,312 Model S and Model X vehicles alone during the year - the first time Tesla crossed the 100,000-vehicles-sold benchmark in 14 years.

However, Tesla in its January 3 news release also claimed "major progress" in addressing Model 3 "production bottlenecks" and suggested it was successfully ramping up production. University of MI researchers have just published a report concluding that across the US, the average annual cost of fueling a gas-powered vehicle is $1,117, while power for an electric vehicle costs $485.

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