Tesla has now officially placed the foundation stone for the so-called Gigafactory 3 in China, which will produce both batteries and the electric vehicles in which they will be used in future. The plan is to complete construction by this summer.
CEO Elon Musk was further speaking of launching production in the facility before the end of the year, with Model 3 vehicles being the first product targeted. The time plan is as ambitious as we have grown to expect from the Californian company. Musk did add that serial production would pick up in 2020.
Another point of interest will be the news that, according to Musk, the Shanghai plant is scheduled to produce “affordable” versions of the Model 3 and future Model Y. The new plant will also be the first of its kind in Shanghai. Model S, Model X and higher-priced versions of Model 3 and Model Y will continue to be produced in the USA for world markets, including China. Musk left open exactly what he means by “more affordable versions”. However, it is likely that this refers to the standard range version of Model 3 that had initially been marketed as 35k EV. In view of the fact that Tesla has to deal with many local competitors in China who generally offer their e-models at comparatively low prices, this tactic makes sense if Musk wants to remain locally competitive.
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Around 3,000 Model 3 vehicles per week are to be produced in the new factory in China to start with. Once they reach full capacity, the Californians plan to produce up to 500,000 vehicles per year there. Tesla’s China plans are also visible in the 60 Tesla locations, almost 1,500 superchargers and more than 1,850 destination chargers, which have been opened in China in recent years.
Independent of the progress made at Tesla’s China factory, the manufacturer has now also paved the way for the Chinese to order the Model 3 online and activated the configurator. First deliveries of units produced in the USA are expected to start in the first quarter of the year.
As reported, a photo of a Model 3 with the charging connectors for the Chinese market is already circulating on the net. Background: The charging connectors of the Model 3 were adapted for the European and Chinese market. In China, Tesla is using the same charging system as in Europe. However, the Chinese government has introduced the GB/T 20234 standard for the public fast-charging network. As a result, Tesla reacted and presented a new charging connection design for the Model S and Model X in October 2017, which showed two parallel connections with the Chinese standard and the previously used Type 2 interface. Tesla will also deliver Model 3 in China with both charging options.