How Long Does It Take To Build A Tesla? (a Full Breakdown)

Ever wonder how long it takes to build a Tesla? Maybe you are wondering where Tesla parts come from. Well, we have the answer!

Ah, the Tesla. With its unparalleled technological advancements, chic design, and usability catered for ease, it’s truly no surprise why this car model is making undeniable strides in the automobile world.

With that in mind, it’s expected that people wonder how much work goes into making the car, from how long the process is to where each part is sourced from.

Where Do Tesla Parts Come From?

The Fremont Tesla factory can make a car from sheets of aluminum in just 48 hours’ time,  but the allocated time takes 90 minutes – just over an hour of production.

As for parts, they’re sourced globally, some from Russia while others are found in the US. 

The process of building a Tesla is streamlined in a way no other car company can replicate, and it’s only looking to get even more precise as demand rises.

Let’s dive into what goes into what makes the process so timely, and where Tesla gets some of the parts needed to make the magic happen. 

The Build Process

According to this killer YouTube video by NewsThink, the manufacturing process for a Tesla Model 3 is among the fastest in comparison to other models that the company makes. 

In just 2 days, the rolled-up aluminum sheets that are shipped to the factory are ready to be driven out of the factory lot.

It’s quite an impressive feat, especially with the magnitude of cars that are being pumped out at any given moment. So what exactly does the procedure look like?

Aluminum Is Shaped

First and foremost, the metal sheets arrive. 

These heavy-duty aluminum sheets are far from their cousins that you may have in your kitchen drawers.

They’re high-grade, ultra-safe, and built to last. As for sourcing, Tesla originally sourced their aluminum from Russia (specifically chrome a company called Rusal), but current war conditions may have the company looking for sources more accessible.

The first part of the manufacturing process is the unrolling of these sheets, followed by the cutting and shaping of them into the recognizable parts of the vehicle: doors, trunk, hood, etc.

This process is done entirely by handy-dandy robots that are far more precise (and more fast) than humans could ever be. 

Aluminum Is Checked

In spite of the speed of the robots, nothing can check for errors and impairments quite as well as the human eye.

That’s why the next step after shaping is the placing of the aluminum onto conveyer belts, where (human) employees check them out for any deformities, visual impairments, and other qualms.

They do this for every single piece and component that comes down the line, from side panels, hoods, body frames, and more.

Their accuracy is crucial to the final product, so while they may not be as futuristic as the robot employees, they are equally as important. 

The Body Shop

When it’s time for all of the components to come together, each of the pieces needed to make the skeleton of the car is brought into the body shop.

From here, automated employees (y’know, robots), go ahead and weld every piece together to form the body of the car. 

For your knowledge, the Model 3, aka Tesla’s most economically savvy model, takes around 5,000 welds to put together, and the machines put it together in record time.

Once they’re all put together, the body gets sent off to the paint shop to be decorated and cleaned up. 

The painting process is fairly quick, but when drying and sealant time is put into account, it takes a total of 4 hours. 

General Assembly

The general assembly portion of putting together the Tesla is undoubtedly where the bulk of the time goes.

It’s a process that requires efficiency and accuracy, and it’s also the stage of the build that Musk has openly admitted to having struggles making as flawless as possible.

It is the central cause for his being in “production hell” as he called it, and he is constantly in the works to make the process better. 

Basically, this part of the process includes the mending together of the frame, and all the components that give the car its life: including the battery pack!

The Battery Pack

Perhaps the most impressive quality of the Tesla battery pack is what goes into it- this can include elements like lithium and cobalt.

But unlike other car manufacturing companies, Tesla does not go to cell suppliers in order to get their hands on the materials needed. 

Tesla instead goes above and beyond, sourcing the necessary elements directly from the mines, rather than going through the middleman of a supplier. Is this more difficult and costly? Absolutely. Is it worth it? Also, absolutely. 

Tesla builds a relationship with the suppliers in a way that allows them to have a steady, secure shipping and receiving process, and an insight into the quality of the elements that, not only keep the customer happy but stabilizes Tesla’s reputation as a sustainable, environmentally-friendly brand.

The batteries are put together at one of Tesla’s Nevada factories, where, once assembled, are then shipped over to their Fremont location to be a part of the build. 

A Hybrid Relationship

Elon Musk, when asked about the mindset that goes into his wanting so many robots on the assembly line as possible boiled down to the fact that if there are humans on the floor, the process will only be as fast as the humans can be. 

However, the entire assembly process can’t be done completely by artificial intelligence.

Human hands and eyes are still far more reliable, and capable of thought, than robots- which is why Musk still uses them in tandem with machinery to provide the best quality car possible. 

For example, the Tesla Seat Factory (which is where Tesla makes their cushy seating), is still a human process, as stretching the lining over the inner foam and ensuring it looks its best is something that only a person can do. 

Ready For Home Delivery

After the car is all put together, it’s taken out of the factory and for a test ride or two to ensure that everything is working to its maximum capability.

Most new Tesla owners can expect their vehicle to have up to 50 miles on their car (it’s also noted in the purchase agreement!).  

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! All the ins and outs of what goes into making the most sought-after car in the world.

Two days in total and 90 minutes of total processing boil down to a car that you’ll love for a lifetime.

It’s a ridiculously impressive timeline and with more factories in the works, we can’t wait to see how much more efficient the method gets (because trust us, Musk always has a trick or two up his sleeve!).