Tesla Model 3 'Project Highland' Production Line Upgrades Are Almost Complete

Tesla Model 3 'Project Highland' production line upgrades are almost complete 6 photos
Photo: Tesla | Edited
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Chinese media insists that Elon Musk saw the revamped Model 3 during his visit to Giga Shanghai at the end of May. A new report claims that production line upgrades are almost complete, and Tesla is already testing the refreshed Model 3 prototypes around the factory.
Tesla will launch a massively improved Model 3 in the following months, and preparations for the production start are in full swing at Giga Shanghai. When Elon Musk visited the gigafactory in May, many were convinced he was there to see the final version of the refreshed Model 3 and give his OK to production. Rumors also spread about Project Highland already starting trial production. Although Tesla officially denied them, Chinese media still insists that these reports were accurate.

Fresh information from China shows that Tesla has set up a new production line at Giga Shanghai dedicated to the Highland pilot production. This allows it to calibrate the line and make last-minute changes without disrupting the current Model 3 production. This is interesting, as car companies usually take some time off to overhaul the production line for a new model.

Tesla has also set up a dedicated production line for a new type of drive unit that will power the refreshed Model 3. Tesla revealed during recent investor meetings that it's working on a new generation of electric motors. They will feature an improved hairpin stator design and use a new permanent magnet design with zero rare-earth metals. Tesla claimed the new design offers significant advantages such as reduced costs and improved efficiency.

The new production line where the refreshed Model 3 is being produced is kept under high security, with workers prohibited from bringing camera phones. Still, Chinese media found out from people working at the factory that the fine-tuning of the production line is almost complete. Tesla is currently testing Model 3 prototypes around the gigafactory and makes the final adjustments based on the feedback it gathers from the testing team.

The volume production of the refreshed Model 3 is expected to start in September, based on previous reports and discussions with people familiar with the matter. Still, the same reports claim that deliveries will not begin until 2024, which makes no sense. Tesla aims to deliver the first cars as soon as the production model is greenlighted and the production line starts rolling. To store an entire quarter of production, even if small, would be unprecedented.

Tesla optimized Tesla Model 3 to minimize production costs and boost efficiency. The redesigned model will feature a structural battery pack and dual megacastings, reducing production time significantly. The upcoming Model 3 will also have new features such as ventilated front seats, matrix LED headlights, and Hardware 4 computer and sensor suite with more cameras to improve Vision capabilities. A steer-by-wire system was also rumored, although this a still hard to believe.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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