2017 Tesla Model 3, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show
It's well-known that the lithium-ion battery pack for the Model 3 is made at the joint Tesla-Panasonic Gigafactory in Nevada, but the high-voltage controller is made by Jabil Circuit in Hong Kong and shipped to the Gigafactory, according to import records from November 2017.
Jabil also manufactures other components for the high-voltage battery system, including the bus bars to connect modules in the battery pack.
The battery cooling assembly for the high-voltage pack comes from OSE Group in France, and finishing for the part is completed by Valeo Engine Cooling.
Despite the large custom-built pack, the Model 3 still has a small conventional battery to power 12-volt accessories like lights, the touchscreen, fans in the ventilation system, and other traditional electronic components inside and outside.
Tesla received its first shipment of 12 volt batteries for the Model 3 on July 10th. They are using a B19 Battery made by AtlasBX. This is similar to the Model S/X 12v batter. The part number for the Model 3 12v battery is: 1129182-00-A. It weighs around 11 kg.— Bozi Tatarevic (@hoonable) December 12, 2017
Import records show this battery is built by AtlasBX in South Korea, a company that manufactures low-voltage batteries for other carmakers, including General Motors.
The fixed front-brake caliper on the Model 3 appears to be similar to the 4-piston Brembo caliper used on the Model S, but the rear is a floating design that is both different from and cheaper than the one used on the Model S.
The marking on the brake pad shows “FER 9206G”, which returns a listing that states that it is manufactured by Federal-Mogul Motorparts.
Steering on the Model 3 is very similar to what has been implemented on Tesla’s older models, but it employs a redundant steering motor configuration—for additional safety and likely future autonomy.
Tesla Model 3 brake pad
Tesla Model 3 - import record for battery cooler
Tesla Model 3 - import record for battery bus bars
Tesla Model 3 - import record for high-voltage system controllers
This steering motor is manufactured by Taigene Electric Machinery in Taiwan and is also being used on Model X crossovers equipped with their HW2.5 Autopilot package.
Tooling to build the car's shell and components is just as important as the parts themselves that go into the car. An mport record from June 2017 indicates the tooling for the floor panel of the Model 3 was produced by Eson Precision Engineering in China.
The General Assembly Line installed in the Fremont plant was produced in Italy and multiple shipments for that line were delivered during the same month, but exact supplier names were not available from the records we examined.
Although the company and Musk often present the Tesla Model 3 as a revolutionary car with a revolutionary assembly process, the parts that go into it are often entirely similar to those that go into more traditional cars.
Tesla Model 3 - import record for general assembly line
Tesla Model 3 - import record for floor tooling
Tesla Model 3 - import record for Saint Gobain assembly line
Tesla also seems to be using a few suppliers that have not traditionally sold to automotive manufacturers that build cars for the US market.
It's possible that could explain some of the early teething issues with suppliers and their challenges in delivering parts.
We’ll be monitoring the import records to see what changes in the future and whether new suppliers appear.