In a sign that Tesla is preparing to start construction of its first factory in China, Elon Musk said on Monday that he would be visiting China soon for the groundbreaking ceremony.
“Looking forward to visiting soon for the groundbreaking of Gigafactory Shanghai!” Musk wrote on Twitter, replying to a Chinese Tesla owner who had volunteered to deliver a Tesla vehicle to a new owner.
Tesla’s China factory in Shanghai will be its first production facility outside the United States. The EV maker signed the deal for the construction project with the Shanghai authorities in July. The factory is expected to double Tesla’s electric car production, beginning in two years.
The peak annual turnout of the Shanghai factory will be half a million Teslas and the same amount of battery packs, to be achieved two to three years after the launch of production, Tesla said in July after the signing of the deal with Shanghai authorities.
In October, Tesla said that it had secured a plot of land for the Chinese Gigafactory in its push to start local production in the world’s biggest EV market.
Tesla is expected to begin partial production at its first factory in China in the second half of 2019, the Shanghai government said after a meeting with local Tesla executives earlier this month.
Tesla has also started a tender process for the construction of the gigafactory in Shanghai, and at least one contractor has begun buying materials for the construction, Reuters reported in early December, citing sources and documents that it has reviewed.
Tesla aims to have a production facility in the world’s top EV market China in order to be able to compete on a level playing field with a growing number of local EV manufacturers. As a U.S.-made vehicle, Tesla’s cars in China have been subject to steep tariffs, and sales have suffered from the U.S.-China trade war.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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