Tesla is making improvements to Fremont factory — increasing Model Y production capacity

Tesla is making several improvements to Fremont factory during the shutdown in order to increase production capacity for Model Y and other vehicles.

Due to the shelter-in-place order in the Bay Area, Tesla had to shut down Fremont factory two weeks ago.

The factory has been in operation for almost a decade since Tesla bought it from Toyota, and it has only been shut down on a few occasions for upgrades.

As we reported last month, we heard that Tesla was planning to use forced factory shutdown to do upgrades and improve production at the plant.

Today, we obtained several construction permit applications that Tesla submitted for Fremont factory over the last week showing some of the upgrades Tesla is planning to make.

For example, Tesla is going to make improvements to one of its current body-in-white lines:

Improvement to existing body in white manufacturing line for increased production capacity.

That’s according to a building permit application submitted on March 25 and part of a project Tesla has been referring as “Tesla 5k Expansion.”

The descriptions on Tesla’s permit applications are often short and vague, but we can often extract some information.

On March 31, Tesla applied to do some work on module and pack production:

Platform extension at module pack line location and addition of h4 room.

A building permit application submitted on April 3 shows that Tesla is installing a new conveyance platform for Model Y production:

Installation of model y conveyance platform for phase #3.

Over the last few weeks, Tesla has also applied for several permits in order to recommission its south paint shop:

Utility infrastructure development in preparation for restoring former body paint operations.

Tesla has also submitted several applications for a general assembly line that it has been referring to as “GA4.5.”

Last year, we reported on Tesla working on its fifth assembly line at Fremont factory ahead of Model Y production.

At the time, Tesla was referring to the line as GA5.

As we previously reported, Tesla’s “GA4 line is the famous assembly line inside a “tent” just outside the factory.

Last month, we reported that sources said Tesla plans to do something similar for Model Y and deploy some production capacity under a sprung structure to go into operation when they can reopen the plant.

Tesla officially started production of Model Y in January, but we don’t know the production capacity for the new electric SUV despite the automaker releasing its Q1 production numbers last week, since they didn’t break down Model 3 and Model Y production.

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