If you follow the space, and specifically Tesla, you've probably heard about the EV maker's alleged "Project Highland." It's reportedly the codename for an ongoing revamp of the popular Model 3 saloon. According to filings shared by Teslarati, the project has been underway now for about six months.
It's important to note that Tesla has not announced a Model 3 refresh or any other new model that could be coming to market soon. In fact, the company has always suggested it doesn't refresh its vehicles, though it said the same before the newly refreshed Model S and Model X vehicles, as well as the Plaid versions, arrived. Moreover, Tesla has already been spotted testing what appear to be new Model 3 prototypes wearing camo in California.
Reports started to surface early last month, and Reuters shared that Tesla was working on a new Model 3 that would have fewer parts and some improvements. The information came from anonymous sources familiar with Tesla's project, who shared that the upcoming Model 3 would get exterior and powertrain tweaks, along with an upgraded infotainment system. There's been plenty of speculation that the entry-level saloon will follow suit with the new Model S and X in some ways.
Based on filings shared by Teslarati, Tesla has been in the midst of the secret project since June 2022. The company submitted paperwork to the City of Fremont that was labelled “Highland BL3 HOL Demo.” Teslarati writes that the filings read:
“Demolition of existing equipment and utilities in preparation for new Hang on Line. Demolition of existing slab-on-grade, pit excavation, and construction of new concrete pit at first floor of assembly building.”
The publication goes on to mention additional related filings submitted by Tesla on August 16, September 2, October 4, and December 8. The filings included revisions to the original plans, as well as fire alarm installations.
The December 8 filing reportedly lays out plans for another "tent" for Model 3 production equipment. This would be a Spring Structure like Tesla is already using in Fremont and has been able to make permanent. It seems the structure will provide a location for new Model 3 production through May 1, 2023, after which Tesla may move to a new or upgraded area in the factory itself.
Thanks to the official filings, Teslarati has concluded that Tesla's Project Highland Model 3 refresh has likely been underway for around six months already. It also points out that EV outlets have been reporting on filing, upgrades, and potential expansion at the Tesla Fremont factory for some time now, though there haven't been many details about what's happening.