Tesla has, for all intents and purposes, developed a strategy for building its Gigafactories in a quick and efficient manner. This was shown in Gigafactory Shanghai, which started mass production of the Made-in-China Model 3 within a year after its groundbreaking ceremony, and in Giga Berlin, which is now also taking form despite the trickle of permits from German authorities.
Tesla’s Gigafactory formula seems to have been inspired by GA4, a “tent”-based Model 3 production line constructed in the Fremont Factory grounds as a way for the company to manufacture more vehicles during a period described by Elon Musk as “production hell.” The concept of GA4 was simple. Cars are progressively assembled as they pass through the sprung structure, while supplies are delivered through the loading bays at the side.
A look at Gigafactory Shanghai suggests that the facility is but a more permanent and evolved form of GA4, from its straightforward vehicle assembly process to its numerous loading bays. This was true for both the first and second phases of the facility, which produce the Model 3 and Model Y, respectively. Giga Shanghai’s construction was extremely rapid, with crews working 24/7 to finish the Phase 1 building’s factory shell. Once this was done, equipment was installed, and trial production of Model 3 test units started.
Gigafactory Berlin appears to be following a relatively similar pattern. During the massive facility’s buildout, it seemed that equipment was only installed after the complex’s buildings themselves were nearing completion. Granted, part of this may be due to the fact that Giga Berlin had to be constructed according to the permits that the facility receives. But despite this, the German plant seems to be progressing at a pattern that is quite similar to its China-based counterpart.