Tesla reveals more about the status of the secret Roadrunner project for battery production

Tesla has publicly recognized the Roadrunner project for the first time and has revealed more about the state of battery production in Fremont.

At the beginning of this year, Electrek It has exclusively revealed Tesla’s secret “Roadrunner” project, which is its in-house battery cell manufacturing system designed to increase production volume and reduce costs.

Tesla has now recognized the project as they are seeking approval to build a second story at their “Tera battery manufacturing facility” that houses the Roadrunner project in Fremont.

They wrote in an application with the city of Fremont filed last quarter (hat tip to @ jpr007 for presentation):

To accommodate new battery manufacturing equipment and R&D space (known as ROADRUNNER), the Project proposes to build an additional floor area of ​​approximately 21,485 square feet on the second floor (covering a portion of the central space that is open to the second floor ceiling) see Figure 4) and to add an additional smaller third floor of approximately 8,260 square feet above (see Figure 5). These improvements will increase the total floor space of the existing Kato building by approximately 29,745 square feet (to a total of 156,057 square feet), but will not change the footprint of the building or its exterior facades (see Figure 6). No grading or excavation is required for these improvements, and almost all construction work will be carried out internally within the existing building. The Project will also add a series of mechanical rooftop equipment (for example, air controllers, HVAC systems, and fans) to support new battery manufacturing operations. Once this internal floor space is built, Tesla will move to the new team that supports its expanded battery R&D and manufacturing operations.

The facility is located on the Fremont Factory Road at the intersection of Kato Road and Page Avenue:

Tesla does not detail the output volume of the battery manufacturing system, but it is expected to be somewhat significant, considering that it plans to operate the production line 24/7 with four shifts of up to 100 workers.

Tesla wrote in the app:

The remaining 400 employees will work shifts, so there are 100 employees working in manufacturing and production operations anytime, all day, every day. Shifts change at 6 am and 6 pm every day. Shifts operate such that 100 employees work day shifts in the first half of the week, 100 employees work night shifts during the first half of the week, 100 employees work day shifts during the second half of the week. week and 100 employees work night shifts during the second half of the week.

Additionally, as part of the project, Tesla requests a significant increase in energy capacity at the location:

Under the proposed Project, operating electricity consumption is projected to increase to nearly 92,800 MWh / year, or an increase of approximately 72,800 MWhr / year. Existing electrical demands from Tera battery manufacturing operations and R&D functions within both buildings will continue. The higher electricity consumption is attributable to the electrical energy demands of new technology battery manufacturing equipment (Roadrunner). This equipment is supposed to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a week (see Table 1, Annex 1.6-A).

The automaker is also revealing various toxic materials that will be used as part of the project.

Here is part of the list:

  • Aluminum Cobalt Lithium Nickel Oxide
  • Titanium butoxide
  • Lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt oxide
  • Cobalt sulfate
  • Lithium hydroxide monohydrate
  • Manganese sulphate
  • Nickel sulphate
  • Precursor (NCA oxide or NCMO oxide)

As you can see, those are all the materials used in the production of battery cells.

Tesla plans to allow tours of the new facilities on its Battery Day, which is now “tentatively” scheduled for September 15.

Here is the full initial study for the new build application at Tesla’s Tara battery manufacturing facility for the Roadrunner project:

The taking of Electrek

In summary, Tesla is currently expanding battery cell production operations at the facility.

I think this would still qualify to be under your research and development effort.

Tesla is primarily using the location to test the new cell manufacturing equipment they are designing and building, but I think it could still result in significant production capacity, at least in five figures in kWh, and perhaps approaching six figures.

What you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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