Tesla is now able to commence mass production of its top-selling Model 3 electric sedan at its Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, with Chinese authorities giving the official thumbs on Wednesday (China time).
The ‘Made in China’ (MIC) Model 3s will be the first overseas-produced vehicles by the Californian car maker, which intends to output 3,000 vehicles per week from the Shanghai factory.
Available only in the Standard Range Plus variant, the MIC Model 3 will be identical to the US-made version except for the rear Tesla logo, which is in Chinese.
While it was originally believed that Tesla would commence manufacture on Monday November 11, Chinese authorities did not announce approval until Wednesday November 13.
It is understood, however, that although production of the MIC Model 3 is now approved, sales of the MCI Model 3 still awaits regulator approval according to Nikkei Asian Review.
Chinese residents are now able to order the MIC Model 3 through Tesla’s Chinese website, but these are not considered a sale until the purchase has been finalised and the vehicle delivered.
As part of Tesla’s agreement with the Shanghai municipal government, Tesla will commence paying around $A475 million in taxes as part of its lease agreement from the end of 2023.
The news of the start of production at the Shanghai Gigafactory came as Musk announced at the BILD awards on Wednesday that Tesla had decided the location of its fourth Gigafactory in Berlin, Germany.
The Shanghai factory, which was built in just 10 months from break of ground in January and cost 65% less than its US-based EV factories, will now become a template for the build of the German Gigafactory 4.
Both the Shanghai Gigafactory 3 and Berlin Gigafactory 4 will produce the Model 3, as well as the yet-to-be launched mass-market Model Y electric SUV, which will now be launched a full quarter earlier than previously planned thanks to the rapid build.
Musk said at the Q3 earnings call that the opening of the Shanghai factory would also Tesla to triple its output – and with the location of the European Gigafactory now firm the EV maker will now look to further increasing its reach and output in Europe.
Tesla had previously made several trial Model 3s at the facility, which were then previewed by local media including by Twitter user Jay in Shanghai who posted a video of the media Model 3 drive day.
Tesla MIC Model 3 Driving along another MIC Model 3 on Donghai Bridge, Shanghai, China ???????? during Media Test Drive. Video posted on Tesla China Douyin Account.#Tesla #TeslaChina #Model3 #MIC #GF3 #Gigafactory #China #特斯拉 #中国 $TSLA pic.twitter.com/jzFqFNv7cp
— Jay in Shanghai ???????? (@JayinShanghai) November 10, 2019
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.