- Tesla was just given the OK from China to start building electric vehicles in its newly constructed plant outside Shanghai.
- The factory, called Gigafactory 3, will produce at least 1000 Model 3 electric cars a week, according to Tesla.
- Production could commence within several weeks, the company said.
Tesla's Gigafactory 3 in China has been in the EV maker's plans since 2018, and the groundbreaking ceremony was held in January 2019, but today is the first official word that the electric automaker has the go-ahead from China to begin production. As C/D reported back in May, the company started taking orders for cars from the factory well before that.
Reuters reports that Tesla could start building vehicles at the factory, located outside Shanghai, any time now. In June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company plans to make 3000 Model 3 electric vehicles a week there, and according to a BBC report today, authorities in Shanghai have offered Tesla assistance to speed up that timetable, meaning production could start as soon as the next few weeks. The state power company hooked up Gigafactory 3 to the electric power grid today, Bloomberg reported, allowing production to start on at least a limited basis.
Gigafactory 3 will be China’s first fully foreign-owned car factory, which appears to indicate that China is opening up to the idea of expanding the car market there. The factory will also be Tesla’s first fully operating manufacturing plant outside of the U.S.
The factory has cost about $2 billion but having it should help the electric-car manufacturer avoid higher import tariffs that are imposed on cars built and exported to Asia from the U.S.