The sounds of robots and humans making new Teslas at the company’s plant in Fremont, California, has been silenced, and been replaced by the sounds of humans installing in $100 million in tooling and making other upgrades at the facility.
The EV maker has shut its line down to improve the efficiency of the current set up for the Model S as well as readying it to manufacture the all-new Model X crossover. The line will be back up at full production on Aug. 4, according to reports.
The improvements are expected to raise production levels by 25%. The company reports it will make 35,000 cars in 2014, which is up from just over 20,000 last year. The new Model X, a smaller, less-expensive vehicle than the Model S, hits showrooms sometime next year. The two models will be built on the same line.
The company is also expanding its powertrain and battery-pack assembly areas, which are located on the factory’s third floor. Tesla employs about 3,500 workers a the plant and they are expected to report to work for additional training during the down time.
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The news of the upgrades comes just after the company said it would make available improved batteries for its first vehicle: the Tesla Roadster. The first generation batteries provided a range of about 245 miles. However, the new one will push that to 400 miles.
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“The Roadster had an old generation battery,” he told AutoExpress.com. “We’ll upgrade it to a new generation battery pack and it should have a range of about 400 miles, which will allow you to drive from LA to San Francisco non-stop.”
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The company has not released how much it will charge Roadster owners for the upgrade. The Roadster was Tesla’s first vehicle, debuting in 2008 and costing just under $110,000. The Model S starts at $75,000. No pricing details have been released on the new Model X.