The idea of Tesla producing the Model 3 at Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai before the end of the year is starting to become more and more realistic. With Gigafactory 3’s Phase 1 construction now completed, a Shanghai official has stated that the massive factory will begin producing the Model 3 by the end of the year, where the facility’s output will ramp to 3,000 vehicles per week.
Following a visit to the Gigafactory 3 site, Ma Chunlei, Deputy Secretary General of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and Director of Shanghai Development and Reform Commission, discussed the progress of Tesla’s electric car facility at a press conference in Beijing. According to the official, the construction of the facility has been smooth so far, and the installation of production equipment has already begun.
The Shanghai official further noted that Gigafactory 3’s Phase 1 project was worth RMB 14 billion ($2 billion), and that the initial production capacity of the factory would be around 150,000 Model 3 per year. Ma mentioned that manufacturing activities would begin near the end of this year, then ramp to 3,000 cars per week, according to a report from local news agency 3g.163.com.
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“The relevant authorities told me that they would start production at the end of this year, and then gradually climb to the production capacity of about 3,000 vehicles per week. I believe that at the end of this year and early next year, every one may see or buy in Shanghai, China. Production of new energy vehicles from Tesla Model 3,” he said.
Interestingly, the target timeframe for Model 3 production mentioned by the Shanghai official is in line with Tesla’s estimates when it opened pre-orders for locally-made versions of the electric four-door sedan. When it opened pre-orders for the Made-in-China Model 3 at the end of May, the company noted that the vehicles would likely start deliveries in 6-10 months, which translates to November 2019 to March 2020.
The construction of Gigafactory 3 has been incredibly quick. The facility officially entered its construction phase in January, following a groundbreaking ceremony that was attended by Chinese officials and Tesla executives such as CEO Elon Musk. The buildout of the main structure in the site, a general assembly building for the Model 3 and Model Y, was completed in just around five months. Recent flyovers of the area show that equipment is now being installed in Gigafactory 3’s interior, and that a substation is currently being built southwest of the main facility.
Watch a recent flyover of Gigafactory 3 in the video below.