Tesla’s Battery Day is less than two weeks away, and as anticipation continues to rise in the lead-up to the event, the electric car maker appears to be hard at work getting their pilot cell production line ready for its first guests. Fortunately, Tesla’s “Roadrunner” facility appears to be coming together very well, with progress apparently ramping up as the Tesla community begins the final stretch to Battery Day.
Tesla Enthusiast and drone operator Gabeincal recently performed a flyover of the Roadrunner plant located near the Fremont factory. A look at the site reveals that construction is underway, and the huge cube-like extension at the top of the Kato Road building is taking shape too. Interestingly enough, the materials that were seen around the building in the site’s earlier flyovers were reduced, indicating that machinery and other associated materials may have been relocated inside the facility.
The extra floor which Tesla adds to the Kato Road building was also notable. The system, fondly called the “Magic Cube” by the Tesla community, has seen significant improvement in recent weeks. The drone operator was also able to get pretty close to the structure this time around, catching a rare glimpse of its high ceilings and vast floor space. So far, Tesla has not shared any details about the position the “box” plays in the Roadrunner line.
Initial updates on the Roadrunner site were circulated last year, when CNBC reported that Tesla was using the Kato Road facility as a “skunkworks lab” for the design and manufacture of battery cells and battery equipment. Report of the publication did not indicate which cells were developed on the site, although speculations indicated that the site was involved in Tesla’s initiative to build and release a million-mile battery.
Tesla’s fillings to the City of Fremont say that the Roadrunner facility will house 45 research and development staff and up to 425 manufacturing personnel distributed over several Monday to Friday shifts. Seemingly in preparation for an increase in its operations, Tesla has posted many job listings for the site related to battery cell manufacturing, including Cell Engineers, Production Process Engineers, and Controls Engineers.
Although the battery cell production of the Roadrunner facility would likely be limited due to its size, the facility may be adequate to support the company’s upcoming low-volume vehicles such as the Plaid Model S and Plaid Model X, as well as the next generation Roadster. All three vehicles are expected to be at the bleeding edge of the electric car maker’s tech, making them a perfect fit for the company’s first custom-designed battery cells.
Watch the recent drone flyover of Tesla’s Kato Road facility in the video below.
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