- images of a supposedly china-made tesla battery pack have leaked on websites including the tesla fan blog teslarati.
- tesla's gigafactory 3 in shanghai, currently being built, is reportedly already looking to hire engineers and other employees.
- unofficial images said to show the plant's interior have been posted on twitter.
tesla ceo elon musk had a busy time in china recently. he debated alibaba co-founder jack ma at the world ai conference in shanghai, talking about power and problems with artificial intelligence. he managed to score a tax break for his electric-vehicle company. and the news came out that tesla's upcoming production facility, gigafactory 3, which is being built near shanghai, is looking for workers, especially engineers. it's all in line with the california automaker's well-publicized preparation to build its evs outside the united states for the first time.
in june, musk said that tesla plans to make 3000 model 3 electric vehicles a week at the gigafactory shanghai once production starts up. in early august, tesla tweeted that progress on the facility was going well. musk repeated the positive message during his visit to china. he said it was "mind-blowing" how fast everything is coming together and said he thinks it's "a good story for the world to see how much progress china can make." groundbreaking for the new gigafactory took place in january, and the company plans to start building evs there by the end of the year.
and now, tesla aficionados and insiders are leaking pictures and video of the interior of the new gigafactory (above, which tweeter kelvinyang7 credited in turn to the chinese social-media site weibo). there was also a leaked image of a tesla battery pack that was said to have been made in china, which can be seen on the teslarati fan site. while obviously unofficial, these images reveal another side of the progress being made with the new factory. in the twitter images, you can see model 3 bodies in white, production robots, and lots of potential—if you're optimistic about tesla, anyway.
at home, earlier this year tesla was denied an exemption from u.s. tariffs on china-made parts including the touchscreen and computer of the model 3, but musk had better luck with china. the tax exemption tesla maneuvered to get from chinese authorities, as cnn reported this week, is from a 10 percent tax on purchases. the chinese government adds automakers to the list if they build vehicles that use "new forms of energy," as evs do. so far, 34 automakers are on the list. most of these companies are joint ventures between a global automaker and a domestic chinese company, but tesla is bucking the trend by being the only foreign automaker without a local partner on the list. tesla operates 24 stores in china.