Tesla’s newest gigafactory, Giga Texas, is growing at a rapid speed, and construction workers are now operating 24/7 with three shifts. Tesla’s focus on getting Giga Texas built is so intense that Jeff Roberts, one of the drone operators who is a part of the Quad Squad, told me that he thinks the speed of Giga Texas will surpass that of Giga Berlin.
The Quad Squad is made up of four drone pilots who were given permission by Elon Musk to fly drones with cameras over the Giga Texas construction site. “It was really cool of Elon to do that,” Jeff said to me over the phone.
“The Quad Squad was formed originally as kind of a flight notification system so that we would know who was flying. We got tied into Tesla security to the commercial drone pilots on the site who fly for a few different companies that are involved in construction, so now all of us — the Quad Squad and the commercial fliers — all notify each other whenever they’re flying and what altitudes they’re going to be at. That way we can all stay safe and do it responsibly in a productive way.”
Jeff told me that he’d been operating his drones daily and started back when Giga Austin/Giga Texas was in its early stages. “I started back when everything was green and lumpy. It looked like the surface of the moon and we’ve been flying over the site every day since.”
Giga Texas — 3 Shifts, 24/7
Jeff told me that Tesla’s onsite security confirmed that 24/7 construction has not only commenced this week, but that it’s going on right now. Jeff explained to me that one of the fliers, Grand Dan, who was out yesterday evening, emailed him saying that security spoke with him and the topic of the lights that were being rigged came up. In the email, Dan told Jeff that all of the stadium lights that have been showing up on the site were because they’ve started working at night and they’re going to be doing three shifts so that they can work 24/7. Jeff noted that he got the email this morning.
“Today when I was at the site, I drove down to security and asked them. I basically said, that ‘I’m one of the drone pilots and I heard things were going 24 hours and I see all these lights coming on.’ They communicated with their boss and it turns out they’ve already started doing 24/7 shifts around the clock this week, It’s already been going on.” Jeff told me that he didn’t know what day of the week Tesla started the 24/7 shifts.
“This is the first week of 24/7 crew activity and is essentially going to double the productivity of the site. They were going from roughly 7 AM to 7 PM and now they’ve just doubled that,” Jeff told me.
Giga Race: Giga Austin vs. Giga Berlin & Giga Shanghai
Jeff pointed out that Joe Tegtmeyer, another one of the flyers, analyzed and compared the speed of Giga Austin with Giga Shanghai and Giga Berlin. Tegtmeyer found that “Texas was keeping up or exceeding the rate of building of those two locations and, as you know, Tesla’s continually learning that Gigafactory is a product in itself, and they’re learning how to make the product better and faster with every iteration of that product.” Related: Elon Musk: “Tesla’s Long-Term Competitive Advantage Will Be Manufacturing.”
“So it stood to reason that Giga Texas would keep up with or exceed the speed with which Shanghai and Berlin are being done. And now, I’m going to go out on a little bit of a limb here, but originally we would compare with Berlin and say, ‘By three months they were here, and by six months they were here. Where are we at in three months? Where are we at in six months?'”
Jeff pointed out that at this point, going 24/7 with three shifts, that Giga Texas will exceed Giga Berlin rapidly. “With 24/7 and three shifts, I believe we are going to exceed Berlin very quickly because we’re not too far behind right now and we’re basically doubling the progress. We’ve got two days for every one day they have. They might even take Sundays off,” he said, while cautioning that he wasn’t completely sure about that and he based his thoughts off of the drone videos of the Berlin factory, which have shown no one at the site during the daytime.
“Whereas Tesla is 7 days out here in Texas, so it might be more than double the speed that we go compared to Berlin. So I believe we’re going to exceed Berlin very quickly and we’re going to be pumping out Cybertrucks and Model Ys in no time.” If Giga Austin does exceed Giga Berlin’s construction speed, this will be exciting to see.
All photos, including the featured photo, are by Jeff Rogers and are used with permission.