Tesla might be much farther ahead than many people think in the production of their 4680 battery cells.
A recent update to the Model Y owner’s manual mentions structural battery packs, and since structural battery packs and 4680 cells go hand in hand, this suggests that cars with these updated features could very soon be in the hands of customers.
First spotted by Twitter user Tom Klun (@TKlun1), the ‘Jacking and Lifting’ section of the owner’s manual now has a special note for cars equipped with a structural battery pack. (h/t: @nomadicbrian)
The note says that the “exact location of the lift points will differ slightly” with a structural pack.
While this change alone doesn’t necessarily guarantee Tesla is about to start producing cars with these features, there are a few reasons why it is a very strong indication that they are.
The first reason is that Tesla updates the manual only when something is either in production, or is about to be. A perfect example of this happened just recently when the Model S Plaid owner’s manual mentioned Track Mode.
UPDATE: Track Mode now appears in the Model S owners manual, referencing software version 2021.44.30.
This is the same version number we were told it would appear in, which was originally scheduled for a Dec 28 release, then Dec 30. Now hopefully Dec 31.https://t.co/7SIH9xq2i9 pic.twitter.com/ZVTuwU4R6T
— Drive Tesla 🇨🇦 (@DriveTeslaca) December 31, 2021
Even then it wasn’t actually in the manual, but only visible when using the search feature. Just a few days later the feature appeared in the 2021.44.30 software update.
The second is that Giga Texas is rumoured to be given the green light to begin production in a matter of days.
These first cars to roll off the production line might feature single-piece front and rear castings with a structural pack based on the amount of 4680 cell production line equipment that has been spotted inside the factory in recent weeks.
Even if those lines aren’t running yet, Tesla said in their Q3 2021 earnings call that their pilot facility on Kato Road is producing enough to scale production at Giga Texas.
3rd Q – 4680 production in Texas this year?@elonmusk – probably not, but producing in California already at Kato Rd. That factory will be able to make enough cells for Giga Texas to scale production of Model Y
— Drive Tesla 🇨🇦 (@DriveTeslaca) October 7, 2021
If we haven’t already received an update on Giga Texas by January 26, we will very likely get one during the earnings call scheduled for that day.