Tesla Motors has been a shot in the arm for the electric car concept, selling thousands of their vehicles and achieving profitability to the surprise of their detractors. The first, sporty iteration of an electric car by Tesla leveraged the help of Lotus (the famous sports car maker) to design much of the car while Tesla focused on the electric motor and battery system. But for the second car Tesla produced, the Model S, Tesla has moved to making everything in-house in a state-of-the-art facility in Fremont, California.
In these videos we’ve collected from various spots online, Tesla and Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk detail the unique history and set up of their Fremont factory. Formerly a Toyota and GM joint factory called NUMMI, on taking it over Tesla decided to bring over lessons learned in creating a factory for rockets over at SpaceX. They installed skylights to let in lots of natural light and created an open floor plan, a nod to their silicon valley roots.
The entire factory is painted white. Musk claims that is to set the tone for the entire process. Clean and with attention to detail. These are not the dark, grimy factories of the days of yore.
The videos highlight the use of robotics, while at the same time emphasizing Tesla’s focus on smart people. Fremont, where the factory is located, is close to many California institutions. Tesla points out that this allows them to find smart people to develop everything they can in-house, an approach that Elon Musk championed at SpaceX to bring down costs and increase innovation.
For a quick shot of the factory and its highlights, check out the five minute Wired video below.
But the real meat is in the 45 minute long National Geographic Megafactory special, which features a more in-depth look at the factory where the car of the future is being made… today.