The youngest and smallest publicly traded US automaker also has an assembly plant in Europe, with the 11-acre facility handling assembly and testing for the deliveries on the Old Continent.
This is not really a new factory per se, because the Tilburg, Netherlands facility is actually a serious expansion of the assembly area that came to life just a couple of years ago. Tesla needed more working space because it has now launched the all new Model X sport utility vehicles and will try to make do on its pledge to lift global sales from 50,000 units expected this year to half a million by the turn of the decade. And when everything is in order and functional, the new European assembly plant will roll of the line around 450 units each week. While the automaker’s tech savvy California birth place made it natural to work with robots, humans still hold responsibility for most finishing touches and the factory also uses a 750 meter (half mile) indoor driving track, where ex-race car drivers put the new cars through their paces.
The assembly plant delivers cars to around 69 stores and service centers in 12 European countries, charged with selling cars that only use electricity and receive power from a “driving unit” – eschewing the traditional engine, transmission, etc. setup. Tesla’s European facility radiates the Elon Musk signature series: white walls, radiant epoxy floors; but also has complete testing facilities: a quality control light tunnel or a rain testing booth. The latter contributes to the factory’s green sustainability rank – the highest awarded by rating agency BREEAM – by having all the water cleaned and reused following each process.