Tesla has now confirmed that it intends to build a second plant in Shanghai. This is to be located near the existing Giga Shanghai. The planned production capacity is also already known.
In a letter to local authorities obtained by Reuters, in which Tesla thanks them for their support in restarting production at the existing factory, Tesla also outlines how production in Shanghai is to be increased. According to the letter, a new production facility with an annual capacity of 450,000 vehicles is planned near the current plant.
No further details were given. It is not known when construction will begin or when the plant will be put into operation. Tesla had opened the first factory in China within a year of starting construction.
In February there had already been reports on the plan for a second Tesla plant in Shanghai. As is well known, speculation that construction could begin as early as March did not materialise – possibly due to the Covid 19 lockdowns that have repeatedly caused production disruptions throughout the metropolitan region since mid-March. Tesla was unable to produce an estimated 50,000 vehicles during the total 22-day interruption.
In the letter addressed to the authorities in the Lingang Special Area, where Giga Shanghai is located, dated 1 May, Tesla states that it will build a new plant in the same area to make Shanghai the “world’s largest vehicle export centre”. Models manufactured there are expected to include the Model 3 and Model Y, which are already being built at the existing Giga Shanghai.
In its annual report for the first quarter of 2022, Giga Shanghai’s capacity is still listed as 450,000+ vehicles. In February, it was revealed that expansion work was already underway at the existing factory. If Tesla were to create the capacity for another 450,000 vehicles with the new plant, the total capacity including the expansion of the first China factory could be in the seven-digit range.
Speculation last year that Tesla might build the long-suspected $25,000 electric car in Shanghai has since been denied by Tesla. It said last October that it would not add any new vehicles to its fleet in addition to the well-known model series and the announced projects such as the Cybertruck. The rumours about the “baby Tesla” were already quite concrete before that. Model 2 was often mentioned as the model name, and the vehicle was supposed to use blade batteries from BYD.
Whether Tesla will utilise a potential seven-digit production capacity only with the Model 3 and Model Y is an open question – but it seems possible. In the past, Tesla has not hinted at producing the larger Model S/X series outside the USA.
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