With the change, the space between the frunk and the firewall was increased. This led to speculation the change was to make room for the heat pump from the Model Y.
Those rumours were strengthened over the weekend when a list of impending changes to the made-in-China Model 3 was published. The list included mention of Tesla’s Octovalve.
Making the case even stronger a Chinese supplier has now revealed two unusually large for their heat pumps.
Identified as a “well-known North American electric vehicle manufacturer in China” and referred to as “Client 1” in the report dated September 11, 2020, Aotecar indicates two orders of a combined 650,000 units.
The first order was placed in May 2019 and is for 200,000 units, with a production start date of January 2021. With the first deliveries of the made-in-China Model Y expected to begin in early 2021, it is believed this order pertains to the electric SUV.
The second order for 450,000 units was placed in May 2020. This order has an earlier manufacturing start date of August 2020. Since the Model Y hasn’t started production, this lends credence to the rumours of a heat pump coming to the Model 3.
With the current production capacity at Giga Shanghai topping out at 250,000 vehicles per year, such a large order likely means some of the units will make their way to Fremont to be included in US made Model 3’s. This will probably happen after first appearing in production vehicles in China.
Given production of the heat pumps began last month, they will likely begin appearing in Model 3’s coming out of Giga Shanghai very soon. According to a tip sent to Drive Tesla after we were sent leaked photos of the new headlights and power trunk for the Model 3, we believe those changes will enter production in October.