Tesla broke ground on its Chinese factory in January.
Tesla is famous for missing deadlines, but the company’s Shanghai factory, dubbed Gigafactory 3, seems to be on schedule. Tesla broke ground on the facility in January. Now media reports indicate that work is just about finished, and the company is weeks away from beginning large-scale manufacturing.
According to Bloomberg, Tesla chairman Robyn Denholm said last week that Tesla is waiting for manufacturing certification from local government. The company hopes that will happen before the end of the year.
Tesla recentlypostedimages of some of the first Chinese-made Model 3s on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform similar to Twitter . Tesla allowed Chinese reporters to take additional photos of the vehicle. There are a couple of obvious differences from the American model.
The back of the car has Chinese characters on the left and “Model 3” on the right. Like the cars Tesla is currently shipping to China, these new Model 3s also sport dual charging ports. One port is for theEuropean Type 2charging standard, while the other is for a Chinese charging standard.
Tesla will initially use batteries from Panasonic in its Chinese-made cars, just as it does in the United States. Bloomberg recentlyreportedthat Tesla is negotiating a deal to start using batteries from Chinese battery maker CATL starting next year.
Tesla is aiming to produce at least 1, 000 vehicles per week at its Chinese factory before the end of the year. That could help Tesla achieve its overall goal to deliver at least 360, 000 vehicles for the calendar year.
Tesla delivered 255, 200 vehicles in the first nine months of 2019, so the company will need to deliver 104, 800 vehicles in the fourth quarter. Tesla delivered 97, 000 vehicles in the third quarter, so it will need to step up its game a bit in the current quarter. A few thousand Chinese vehicles could be enough to push the company over the top.
Listing image by Tesla