Tesla has broken ground at Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, China during a ceremony attended by chief executive Elon Musk.
The electric automaker purchased the site last year for roughly $140,000 and intends on building the 860,000-square-meter site far quicker than is typical of automotive factories, Forbes reports. As a matter of fact, Musk revealed on Twitter that the first stage of production at the site should be completed by the second half of 2019.
Tesla is eager to get the factory up and running as soon as possible so it can begin constructing select models locally. The first vehicle to be built will be the Model 3 before the end of the year, while the yet-to-be-revealed Model Y crossover should start rolling out of Gigafactory 3 in 2020.
Aiming to finish initial construction this summer, start Model 3 production end of year & reach high volume production next year
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2019
“Aiming to finish initial construction this summer, start Model 3 production end of year & reach high volume production next year,” Musk tweeted.
“Shanghai Giga production of Model 3/Y will serve greater China region… not North America. Affordable cars must be made on same continent as customers.”
Tesla’s agreement with local government officials will allow the site to build up to 500,000 vehicles annually. The company says that lessons learnt while ramping up production of the Model 3 throughout 2018 will allow it to build Gigafactory 3 at an accelerated rate. When the site is ready, it will initially build 3,000 Model 3s per week and when it reaches full capacity, match Tesla’s planned volume for its factory in Fremont, California.
“China is becoming the global leader in electric vehicle adoption, and it is a market that is critical to Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” Musk commented.