How many Model 3 can Tesla build in the Gigafactory 3 near Shanghai? A new report from China provides details of the planned increase in production at the factory as well as new models. In other Tesla news, we look at software updates.
The report is based on recordings by financial investor Shengang Securities from an investor conference held on 1 March. According to the report, the plant is currently operating in a one-shift system and producing around 2,000 models per week. A second shift is to be activated this month and production is to be increased to 3,500 electric vehicles per week.
This number is to be increased further in the year: In the first half of the year, 50,000 to 60,000 Model 3 are expected to leave the Giga Shanghai, and around 170,000 vehicles are expected for 2020 as a whole, meaning that another significant increase in production is planned for the second half of the year. The report also quotes experts saying that Tesla is planning a “stress test” in June before a significant increase in production.
In the third or fourth quarter, Tesla also plans to start production of the long-range Model 3 version in China after the standard range version. Until then, production is going to be ramped up with just one battery variant, and production complexity will only be increased after that. This is because the switch from the standard range to the long-range battery is not merely a variation of the familiar battery (as in California’s Model 3 production), but a different model with different cells: According to other reports, the MIC-Model-3 (Made in China) uses CATL cells for the smaller battery. In contrast, the long-range battery uses cells from LG-Chem – sometimes cylindrical, sometimes prismatic and comprised of different cell chemistry.
The plan for the coming year envisages production of 5,000 vehicles per week; 250,000 vehicles are to be produced in 2021 as a whole. By this time, the output in the Gigafactory 3 should be rescheduled anyway, because production start for the Model Y in Shanghai has been scheduled for January 2021. Originally, December 2020 had most likely been targeted, but the Model Y SOP was postponed due to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, Tesla continues to work on the software of the existing models and has now started to install another software update. The 2020.8 update now also includes third-party charging stations. Other improvements include the efficiency of recuperation for Model S and Model X, as well as a new visualisation for the Autopilot and a new Track Mode for the Model 3.
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