Amateur drone photos have revealed that Tesla may have started production of its Model Y vehicles at Gigafactory Texas.
The Model Y, with an MSRP of $58,990, began production at Tesla’s Fremont facility in January 2020 and began deliveries in March of that year. Tesla has highlighted the Model Y as a critical component in the company’s growth.
Jeff Roberts uses a quad-propeller drone to take pictures of the Gigafactory Texas outside of Austin. He sent a photo taken Monday that appears to show a number of Model Y vehicles parked on the plant premises and being charged.
Tesla didn’t respond to a request from FOX Business, so it’s not clear if the vehicles were produced at Gigafactory Texas.
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Roberts told FOX Business that he first noticed her on Monday. He flies his drone over the facility “almost every day” and said he didn’t see any of them on Sunday.
“It’s hard to tell if these are test cars or production cars,” admitted Roberts. “My feeling is that these are test cars for crash tests and other analysis, but I could be wrong.”
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Tesla could stock the vehicles at the factory and roll them out as soon as they announce production, but no such announcement has yet been made.
Roberts flies his drone exclusively over the company premises of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He plans to continue flying his drone over the Gigafactory Texas until the Starlink factory goes live — or maybe he’ll cover the new Tesla cathode factory in Austin when construction is complete.
But he still has plenty of time to watch and enjoy the operations of Gigafactory Texas before that happens.
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“I’ve been asked to fly other commercial locations for money and I’ve turned them all down,” Roberts explained. “I make this very clear as someone interested in spreading Tesla’s mission as widely as possible. Sharing the mission with the world in as many ways as possible is the goal.”
He says Tesla employees watch the videos and look at the tweets he and other amateur drone pilots create to provide transparency.
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The Gigafactory Texas isn’t the only Tesla facility launching the Model Y: A drone overflight of Berlin on Thursday revealed a similar manufacturing effort and customer sent on Twitter that she received an email that the Model Y is available for pre-order.
The Tesla Q4 meeting should reveal more information about the company’s plans for production and sales of the Model Y.