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Published on May 4th, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan


Tesla Model 3 Drivetrain At March 31 Launch Was Production Drivetrain, Design Close To Finished

May 4th, 2016 by  

After questioning about ramping up production of the Tesla Model 3, Elon (seconds ago, as I type) said that the drivetrain of the Tesla Model 3 at the March 31 launch was the production drivetrain for the world-changing Model 3.

Overall, the design of the Model 3 is almost complete. This should give a lot of EV/Tesla/Model 3 fans and climate hawks very happy.


Tesla Model 3 @ Unveiling Event | Image Credit: Kyle Field, for CleanTechnica

Tesla CEO Elon Musk let it slip that the production target date for all Model 3 suppliers is July 1, 2017. He made it completely clear that this target date is “impossible,” and explained at length why Tesla has to have such an aggressive and unrealistic date.

As one analogy trying to explain it, he noted that there’s always a required date to turn in a term paper, but you know some will be late. The thing is that, even if one single supplier is late, the car will be late. So, taking into account the near-fact that some suppliers will be late and there could be tooling/ramp problems, Tesla expects to have the Tesla Model 3 in serious production by the end of 2017… but the closer to July 2017, the better.

Also emphasized a few times on the conference call, Elon noted that the Model 3 is being designed in order to be easy to produce. He said that it is “the first car” that Tesla will make that “is designed to be easy to make.”


Tesla Model 3 @ Unveiling Event | Image Credit: Kyle Field, for CleanTechnica


Tesla Model 3 @ Unveiling Event | Image Credit: Kyle Field, for CleanTechnica

To repeat: Model 3 design is close to done, and the drivetrain in the car on March 31 was the production drivetrain. Between now and end of 2017, Tesla is getting all of the suppliers on board and very closely watching their ability to ramp, as well as tooling up its own manufacturing facilities. Specifically asked about the need for new tools for the Model 3 production, Elon said, “if you can make a human baby in 9 months, you can make a tool in 9 months, so that’s our expectation.” (Thanks to “FANGO” for jotting this line down, as I was too busy typing other things to do so.)

Also see:

7 More “Tidbits” (aka Bombshells) From Tesla’s Financials Call

Holy Cow, Tesla Has Moved Its 500,000 Cars-A-Year Aim To 2018 (From 2020)

Despite Model X Delays, Tesla Maintains 2016 Production Target (80,000–90,000)

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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