While Tesla got a reprieve from the heavy import tariff in China last week, the situation is still precarious and the automaker is moving forward with its accelerated plans to establish some local manufacturing capacity.

Tesla is starting some construction work at Gigafactory 3 as seen in a new drone flyover.

Earlier this summer, Tesla announced a deal with the Shanghai government to build a wholly owned local factory.

Tesla then accelerated the Gigafactory 3 plans in response to the trade war between the US and China.

In October, Tesla announced that it secured 210-acres of land for Gigafactory 3 in China and said that it is ‘on track’ with an accelerated construction plan.

The timeline for the start of production has been unclear, but CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla is aiming to bring ‘some parts of Model 3 production’ to China as soon as next year.

Earlier this month, Deputy Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee and Mayor of Shanghai Ying Yong stated that Tesla “basically completed land leveling and is about to start construction” at Gigafactory 3. The project is “expected to be partially put into operation in the second half of next year.”

Now a new drone flyover of the factory site shows that Tesla indeed made some progress leveling the large piece of land and it started construction work:

The company appears to be bringing up a large perimeter fence around the Gigafactory 3 site, which is big enough to fit a Gigfactory 1-size building.

They also have some heavy machinery now on site and they are taking delivery of some material.

While they aim to have production site ready for “some parts of Model 3 production” as soon as next year, the actual complete vehicle production is not expected for a few more years.

When first announcing the plant, Tesla said that it expects “construction to begin in the near future” and that it “will take roughly two years” until they start producing vehicles and “then another two to three years before the factory is fully ramped up to produce around 500,000 vehicles per year for Chinese customers.”

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