February 5, 2024 andrew

Elon Musk Says Tesla Workers to Sleep, Live in Texas Factory

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Elon Musk warned Tesla workers to prepare for a challenging production ramp-up as he previewed plans to build a mass-market vehicle.

The Tesla CEO said on the company’s Wednesday earnings call that building Tesla’s next-generation EV, set to enter production in 2025, will require Tesla workers to live and sleep on the manufacturing line at the company’s Texas factory.

“We really need the engineers to be living on the line. This is not sort of an off-the-shelf ‘it-just-works’ type of thing,” Musk told investors.

“That will be a challenging production ramp,” Musk said. “We’ll be sleeping on the line, practically. Not practically, we will be.”

It wouldn’t be the first time Tesla workers have reportedly had to sleep on manufacturing lines to meet the company’s production deadlines.

A former worker at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, told The Verge that employees would sleep on the factory floor after 12-hour shifts. Musk has said he slept beneath his desk while spending “three years straight” basically living in Tesla’s manufacturing facilities.

Musk said that Tesla’s next-generation vehicle, which Reuters reported is a mass-market, affordable EV codenamedRedwood,” is set to enter production in the second half of 2025 at the company’s Texas Gigafactory — though he admitted that he is often optimistic with timing, and could not yet predict how many of the vehicles Tesla would initially produce.

Tesla workers could face a heightened form of what Musk previously dubbed “production hell” during Tesla’s 2017 Model 3 ramp-up.

“There’s a lot of new technology, a tremendous amount of new revolutionary manufacturing technology here,” Musk said.

“I am confident that once it gets going, it will be head and shoulders above any other manufacturing technology that exists anywhere in the world. It’s next level,” he added.

The billionaire has hinted for years that Tesla plans to release a cheaper EV expected to cost below $30,000.

It comes as the company is under increasing pressure from Chinese EV manufacturers prioritizing more affordable vehicles, with the Chinese EV manufacturer BYD recently overtaking the U.S. automaker as the world’s largest producer of electric vehicles. But BYD does not yet sell its cars in the U.S.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.

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