Inside Tesla Giga Texas: The Machine That Builds The Machine

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Tesla invited me to its recent Cyber Rodeo. As such, last week I got to experience being inside the machine that builds the machine, where I blissfully wandered through the trance- and techno-fueled hallways of dancing robots. However, before I share my adventures inside Giga Texas, I want to first drive home the importance of Tesla’s work and its mission.

I think that Tesla’s mission is vital for humanity at this point in time. In the end, it’s not about cars, robots, batteries, or even the Tesla community. It’s not about Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO. It’s about ensuring humanity doesn’t destroy itself. As I landed back home in Baton Rouge, that reminder was stark, as the red flag alerts lit up my phone.

I’m used to hurricanes, humidity, and our tumultuous weather, which has been a bit more extreme than usual thanks to climate change. It seems like every Wednesday we now have severe weather and have to prepare. But I wasn’t expecting a cold wind to greet me as I exited the airport. I had to Google red flag warnings, discovering they are fire related. Normally, it’s humid this time of year. Yet, the humidity isn’t here this year. Instead, the threat of fires is looming. This is the result of our fast-changing climate. And, yes, there was a fire, but thankfully it was contained.

Tesla’s mission is critically important. Now more than ever. I don’t think we will attain sustainability as a whole in time to stop what’s already happening. However, it’s important that we do this in order to ensure that we as a species can at least adapt and weather the changes.

Inside Tesla Giga Texas

Being inside Tesla Giga Texas was a bit like being inside of a gigantic party. Techno music blasted from the speakers in some parts of the factory as we explored the robots and displays. Tesla also provided water stations, food, and drinks. The generosity of Tesla to those attending, mostly the Tesla community, local community, and Tesla employees, is something that many took for granted. Normally, concerts are not free to attend.

After the factory tour, Austin native Gary Clark Jr. owned the stage that was set up under a hanging made-in-Texas Model Y. The video below is a mix of clips starting with a 360-degree of where I was standing at the moment and then a few clips of Gary performing as seen from below VIP.

Tesla was kind enough to give me two guest tickets, so I invited Gail Alfar’s daughter, Sarah, and Jim Ringold from CleanTechnica. I felt we needed two writers there to give a better perspective — I couldn’t see everything. Jim’s article is already up and you can read it here.

Tesla gave us VIP access. That is how I met Kimbal Musk, Tosca Musk, and Maye Musk, who was kind enough to sign my copy of her book, A Woman Makes A Plan. All three took time to chat with me and get a few photos. I think the fact that they took the time to make my experience memorable was kind.

Inside Giga Texas: Factory Tour

Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica

Once I got to Giga Texas, Sarah, Jim, and I entered the factory and we eventually became separated. It was impossible not to. However, I met up with several friends from the Tesla community and fellow journalist and friend Evelyn Arevalo, who writes for Tesmanian.

Inside the factory, we were greeted by courteous Tesla staff. The first thing that drew my eye before embarking on the tour was this hanging Model Y:

Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica

There were various displays of Tesla Model Ys that were manufactured in Texas as we entered the tour area. The one below was at one of the entrances to the tour.

Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica

The next one was a beautifully wrapped Model Y with Cyber Rodeo emblazoned on the trunk.

Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica

Next up were displays of crash test results from the Texan-made Tesla Model Ys, and a display of how Tesla’s vehicles are designed to be the safest on the roads.

Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica

The robot displays were incredible and show us just how advanced Tesla’s technology has become. Tesla has evolved from being a simple carmaker to making machines that literally build machines. Although I didn’t take that many photos, I did go live on Twitter a few times and will include those tweets with the photos and videos below.

The photo below shows a robot set against the magical lighting. What you don’t see is the constant beat of the music that created a Cyberpunk-esque vibe.

Inside Giga Texas
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica

Below you can see the frames of made-in-Texas Tesla Model Ys.

Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica.

More Tesla Model Ys being manufactured.

Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica

In the video below, Tesla is demonstrating the technological marvels of its robots. This one is drawing a Tesla Model Y, erasing it, and then redrawing it.

Behind the above video was a light show with well over 20 Tesla Model Ys. The vehicles “danced” to many different songs and you can hear the music from these in the video above. The video below is of the light show itself. And, yes, that’s me singing. I didn’t even realize I was singing until I replayed the video. The song is pretty viral on TikTok. Please ignore my not-so-great singing.

In the Twitter live replay below, I took a video of a robot dancing with a Model Y that was being manufactured. This followed a couple of more Twitter lives that I took and those are also below.

I had fun walking through this light tunnel inside Giga Texas.

Light tunnel Inside Giga Texas
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica

There was also a dancing booth where Tesla employees made a fun video of you dancing in slow motion and displayed it on the walls in a section of the factory. Evelyn joined me and we had a bit of fun.

Dancing Inside Giga Texas
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica

I didn’t get outside until much later, but Evelyn shared some great photos and videos on her Twitter feed. The tweet below is from her thread.

Meet Tesla’s Production Manager For Drive Unit, Kyle Wozniak

After wandering the factory for a bit, I was greeted by Kyle, who kindly took me through the VIP entrance to the second level of the Gigafactory. His energy was contagious and his passion for his work with Tesla could be felt. I told him that I was writing an article for CleanTechnica and asked him for a short video.

After the short clip above, Kyle pointed me in the direction of the new Tesla Roadster, Semi, and Cybertruck displays, and I later found out that Tesla had a different entrance to the second level for VIPs. Below is a replay of a Twitter live as I kind of got distracted by the long hallway and Model Ys.

The photo below is of one of the made-in-Texas Model Ys. I think it was one of the vehicles that were delivered to customers.

Made In TX Model Y Inside Giga Texas
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica

In the photos below are the Tesla Semi, the next-gen Tesla Roadster, the back of the Tesla Cybertruck, and a group photo of me along with Eli Burton, Sarah Alfar, Tesla Joy, Al Shen, and Kristen (K10).

Next Gen Roadster Inside Giga Texas
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica
Tesla Semi Inside Giga Texas
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica
Cybertruck Inside Giga Texas
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica
Inside Giga Texas
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica.

Elon’s Speech

Elon’s speech was upbeat and inspiring as usual, but before he came on stage, Tesla put on this amazing drone display. In the video below by TECTU Solar Energy, you can see the beautiful display.

I didn’t get the full video from VIP but was able to watch in awe. I was mesmerized, and honestly, the display left chills on my arm. The good kind. To me, it was just a magical touch that energized not just the crowd and attendees of the Cyber Rodeo. It’s a beacon of Tesla’s promises to fulfill its mission for the entire city of Austin.

In fact, while leaving Austin, the TSA agent saw the Tesla Owners Club of East Bay sticker on my laptop and stopped me to ask what was going on at Giga Texas. I think the agent was inspired as I left.

The video below is my view of the introductory video that Tesla played just before Elon Musk made his grand entrance. I was hoping he would have driven up on stage in a Cybertruck, but that’s how he left instead. Of course, his speech was talking about Tesla’s past and going toward its future, so the original Roadster entrance and the Cybertruck exit made the most sense.

Final Thoughts On Being Inside Giga Texas

There was a lot that I didn’t get to see. I didn’t go to the petting zoo, which I think was a great touch. However, I was able to explore the art sculptures, and in the tweet below, Elon Musk told me that this beautiful print was one of Beeple’s pieces. I would love for Beeple and Tesla to collab and provide prints in the Tesla store.

Inside Giga Texas
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica
Inside Giga Texas
Photo credit: Johnna Crider for CleanTechnica

Being inside Giga Texas and attending the Cyber Rodeo was an incredible experience. So was meeting many of my Twitter friends and also Maye, Kimbal, and Tosca. In each of them, I could see the passion and love that they have for their brother whose work is making a positive impact on humanity.

Upcoming Interview with Elon Musk

On March 30, I asked Elon on Twitter for an interview with CleanTechnica. To my surprise and delight, he said okay. I don’t know when it will take place, but I have my questions ready.

The topics I plan to interview Elon about included AI, Tesla Insurance, the role Tesla plays and will play in China’s EV market, the future of sustainability, Twitter, and free speech — as well as a couple of fun ones thrown in for spice. One reason that I want to interview Elon is that so many of my friends and family outside of the Tesla community don’t really know much about him — aside from what they see in headlines. I’ve had long-time friends tell me that they can no longer support me because I support Elon Musk. Actually, the wording wasn’t that polite. Elon has always been kind to me, and too many people can’t see the good in him that is clearly there.

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Johnna Crider

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

Johnna Crider has 1996 posts and counting. See all posts by Johnna Crider