Tesla battery installation

Tesla # 55 battery installation

Tesla # 55 battery installation

For all of the pictures, click here.

Posted by Bill Arnett
Tesla Roadster #55
Final Assembly

On Wednesday 2008 Nov 12, I arranged to be present and take some snapshots during the final assembly of my car. The rest of the car is assembled in Hethel, UK by Lotus and shipped to California (by air in my case) as a “glider”, a car with no power train. Final assembly is done by Tesla in the Menlo Park facility. There are many more steps in the whole process but shown here is the installation of the ESS (battery), the motor and the PEM (Power Electronics Module). These are the parts that make a Tesla a Tesla.

I am grateful to Stephen Smith, Robert Irvin and the rest of the shop crew for making this possible. And for putting up with all my questions. This is something I’ve wanted to see ever since I ordered my Roadster over two years ago. I’m sure it was against all sorts of silly rules; that they made it work for me is a testament to Tesla’s dedication to customer satisfaction well beyond the call of duty.

Thanks guys!



  1. […] As far as I know, this is one of the most detailed series of public pictures about this process. Tesla battery installation Peak Oil Garage Tesla # 55 battery […]

  2. Wow how exciting! I’m sure you can’t wait, but why ship by air? Ocean freight takes a bit longer but it costs much less and emits a lot less CO2. Anyhow that is an impressive EV and I’m so glad to read news such as this.

  3. According to Tesla, they are only shipping the first 100 “Founders Series” Tesla vehicles by air. After that all of the “gliders” from England are being shipped by ocean freight through the Panama Canal to California. The final powertrain components are installed in Menlo Park, California.

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