There are number of delays in manufacturing Tesla Model 3, the crucial mass-market electric car. According to Elon Musk, Tesla relied on too many robots to build the Model 3 which caused the delays. During an interview with CBS Good Morning, Elon Musk agreed that there was an over-reliance on automation for building the Model 3, and the human assembly line workers were very few.
Delays in the Model 3 production
In this month, there was an official announcement by Tesla that it missed the goal of making 2,500 Model 3 vehicles a week by the end of first financial quarter of this year (2018). It added that it will continue with only 2,000 Model 3s per week in the second quarter. But, the company believes it could get to a rate of 5,000 Model 3s a week anytime in the middle of 2018. Earlier, Tesla blamed bottlenecks for the delays in the production. It blamed bottlenecks in the production of Model 3’s batteries at Gigafactory (company’s workplace). But, in an interview with CBS’s Gayle King, Musk admitted the over-reliance on robots in the production. Musk also added that the company requires more people working in the factory as the automation slowed down the production process. The company eliminated the network of conveyor belts after it was not working.
In 2017, Tesla acquired a private machining firm that makes automated equipment for factories called ‘Perbix’. According to Tesla, this deal was done as an ambition to “build a machine that makes machine”. Elon musk is confident about its giant Gigafactory to become the company’s ultimate product as it has right mix of robots and humans. Musk if one of the foremost voices in cautioning the world about Artificial Intelligence and robotics. To prevent the threat to human existence due to AI and robotics, he asked governments to regulate AI. He has also warned for an “AI apocalypse”.
According to Musk, the technology put into the Model 3 is too much new, and the complexities are observed due to this. It uses 2170 lithium-ion battery cells, which are considered to be complex than the standard industry 18650 battery cells. 18650 battery cells were used in the Model S and X. According to Musk, Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada used to produce bottlenecks slowing Model 3 deliveries. Tesla’s battery cell manufacturing partner, Panasonic has also confirmed this.
Too much technology at once in the Model X
During the Model X, Musk had “too much technology” excuse back in 2016. Putting too much of technologies all at once into a product made the production challenging. According to him, the Model 3 would not have as much technology as the Model S and X. Musk himself has taken over the production of the Model 3. He shows King the conference room in Tesla’s Fremont factory where he sleeps. So, Musk is really concerned for the vehicle’s rollout.