Images from recent drone footage captured at Tesla’s upcoming Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, reveals four identical battery production stations that appear to be producing 4680 cells. Not long ago, we pointed out that Tesla received several large shipments of equipment for 4680 battery cell production at the new factory.
According to physics engineer ALEX (@ajtourville), who shared the images on Twitter, the stations each perform various processes. He says he guesses that the particular stations pictured are for electrode flag-patterning, jelly-roll winding, and current collector welding. While we can’t say we have a thorough understanding of any of these processes, others who appear to be well-versed on the subject elaborate on the stations and images in the Twitter thread.
Tesla 4680 production at Giga Texas $TSLA
Seeing 4 identical stations in this photo by @JoeTegtmeyer
Each station performs a few processes, some of which involve the use of lasers — My guess:
1) Electrode flag-patterning
2) Jelly-roll winding
3) Current collector welding pic.twitter.com/ljSUdSZwq3
— ALEX (@ajtourville) December 17, 2021
For those unaware, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made it clear that people can fly drones and take photographs at the automaker’s factory sites. While such images and footage can sometimes expose potential issues at Tesla’s facilities, they can also draw our attention to Tesla’s production processes and progress.
Giga Texas drone videographer @peterdog15 is being told by site security to stop filming the construction site
— ALEX (@ajtourville) August 28, 2020
That said, we’ve turned to drone operator Joe Tegtmeyer on a regular basis to share his videos of Tesla’s upcoming factory in Austin, Texas. Joe has been documenting Tesla’s progress for many months and publishing his videos on his YouTube channel. To date, Tegtmeyer has uploaded over 250 drone videos of the Texas Tesla factory.
Back to the recent thread, and another Twitter user Bob Mayo attempts to clarify what he sees in the images.
4 spindles? Cathode, anode, separator, blue tape? pic.twitter.com/4SoYdK7kFe
— Bob Mayo (@Bob_Mayo) December 17, 2021
Perhaps one or more of our readers with a better understanding of the subject can provide more insight in the comment section below. In the meantime, we’re going to reach out to a few of our contributors who specialize in engineering and battery tech to see if they may be able to use this information to put together an article with more details.
Below is Joe Tegtmeyer’s most recent drone video of the Tesla factory in Texas. As you can see, the images in the Twitter thread were captured from the embedded video at around the 6-minute mark.