Elon Musk's Tesla is ramping up production of battery cells at its Nevada gigafactory, pointing towards the long-awaited, mass-market Tesla Model 3 vehicle being on track for its own summer production line kick-off.
It's an important step for the vehicle, which will make use of the 2170 lithium-ion battery cells engineered in conjunction with Panasonic.
"We’ve started production of Model 3 cells actually right now, so we’re starting to ramp up those cell manufacturing lines and crank this up as we begin to ramp Model 3,” said Tesla CTO JB Straubel at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association's Energy Fair 2017, according to Electrek (opens in new tab).
Tesla goes mainstream?
While highly praised, the current line up of Tesla vehicles remains firmly the reserve of the luxury market. The Model 3 looks to change that, and could see Elon Musk's company truly starting to bother the established, traditional car giants.
With a 215 mile range per charge, and going from nought to 60mph in under six seconds, it's a formidable vehicle, while still having the family-friendly five adult seater configuration for mass-market appeal.
It's still a pricey investment at $35,000, but with a waiting list of 400,000 people (and growing) already putting down a $1,000 deposit to be among the first to get a fresh-off-the-line Model 3, it'll mark Tesla out as a force to reckoned with in the automobile market – electric or otherwise.
- Here's everything we know about the Tesla Model 3 so far: Tesla Model 3 release date, news and features