Tesla is taking delivery of a little army of Kuka robots and the timing points that they will be used to build the Cybertruck electric pickup truck.
We are not talking about an army of Tesla Bots… not yet.
Kuka robots are mostly industrial arm robots used in manufacturing. It is Tesla’s preferred robot for most of its production line along with some FANUC robots.
We reported on Tesla taking a massive delivery of Kuka robots at Gigafactory Texas to build the Model Y production lines last year.
Now Tesla is taking delivery of another large order of Kuka robots, according to a bill of landing spotted by Twitter user @gregtruck:
While a significantly number, 66 robots is not actually that many for most automotive production lines.
Of course, this could one of several shipments coming, but Tesla has also been working to simplify its production lines and it has been able to significantly reduce production spaces needed and the number of robots over the last few years.
The timing of this shipment of robots matches Cybertruck production.
We have seen Tesla starting to take delivery and install production equipment for the highly-anticipated start of production of the Cybertruck in 2023.
Tesla has been guiding for a start of production in mid-2023, but it has also always said that the focus of the production teams will shift to Cybertruck once Model Y reaches volume production at Gigafactory Texas.
The automaker recently announced that Gigafactory Texas achieved the production of 3,000 vehicles in a week. The goal originally was 5,000 vehicles a week, which is also what Tesla generally refers to when talking about achieving “volume production”.
Electrek recently reported that Tesla is planning for an average production rate of 5,000 cars a week out of Gigafactory Texas.
It would coincide with a shift of focus on setting up Cybertruck production in the first few months of 2023.
While several other automakers have beat Tesla to market with electric pickup trucks, I still think that Tesla has a real chance to beat them in volumes within the next 12 to 18 months.
Rivian is having issues producing 10,000 vehicles per quarter, GM has signaled that it will only produce a few Silverado electric pickups in 2023, and Ford plans to reach a production rate of 150,000 F-150 Lightning by the end of 2023, but it isn’t likely to deliver 100,000 electric trucks next year.
Tesla has been able to ramp-up electric vehicle programs to large volumes better than any other automakers. Therefore, there’s still a chance for the Cybertruck to be the dominant electric pickup truck within a short period of time in my opinion.