Elon Musk’s multibillion dollar company, Tesla, opened up their 3rd and largest. Gigafactory in Shanghai Lingang Industrial Zone on January 6th. It’s their first factory outside of the US and will amount to roughly 9.3-million square feet. The factory, when completed, will manufacture batteries for the cars and the cars themselves. Footage has recently surfaced showing that ground has already been broke as heavy machinery is being moved in.
The construction should be finished fairly fast as China’s construction workforce is well known for its fast precise build outs. Not only has the country’s ability to build fast lured Musk to go overseas but a number of factors went into the decision. The site’s location can be seen as a clear sign from Musk that US regulations and incentives for EVs simply aren’t enough. At the end of 2018 the government cut his $7,500 incentive for Teslas and now the end of January will also bring the end of the referral program. It had previously credited Tesla owners with free supercharging based on their referrals from new owners
The country’s ability to build as fast as it does comes with a bit support form the government though. Good for Tesla is that they have a lot of government support as can be seen by a warm reception to Musk during his visits and they Tesla has secured partial funding from the country for the factory. The construction process will be taken by China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Co., which is a subsidiary of China Construction, which is owned by the Chinese government. We’ve seen many automakers move factories overseas in order to save little money but Tesla has been granted one thing differently than the rest; they are allowed to become the sole owner of Gigafactory 3. It’s obvious that China is definitely interested in Tesla and with this interest we could see future investment into them. This could be bad news for Americans though because if Tesla pulls out of America all together for China, the nation would be astronomically impacted by the loss of such a cornerstone company.
As far as completion of the project goes, the company is very ambitious and believes if all goes well and on schedule that by summer’s end Gigafactory 3 will be complete. The Tesla flagship car, the Model 3, will be a main focus of the factory to build. They believe that the affordable Model 3 that Musk had promised last year, and we saw a glimpse of in December, will be the main focus of the factory in its first few months. All of this may be possible still if they are as eager finishing the project as they were to start it.