Despite catching a break over the increasing tariffs in China for the first few months of 2019, Tesla is moving forward with its accelerated plan to build Gigafactory 3 in the country and Elon Musk now hints at groundbreaking “soon”.
During last quarter’s delivery push, some Tesla owners volunteered to come help ‘educate’ new buyers during the ‘incredibly intense’ delivery week in order to help the retail staff.
Now they are in the middle of another very intense delivery push this quarter and it looks like some owners are again volunteering to help.
An owner in China tweeted to Elon Musk about it last weekend.
Interestingly, the CEO responded that he looks forward to “visiting soon for the groundbreaking of Gigafactory Shanghai”:
Thanks Tesla owners in China! Looking forward to visiting soon for the groundbreaking of Gigafactory Shanghai!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 30, 2018
It’s unclear how “soon” that would be, but it is expected to be quite soon since Tesla has been guiding “some parts of Model 3 production” at Gigafactory 3 by the end of 2019.
As shown by a recent drone flyover, construction work has started at the site, but it doesn’t look like they have started building the actual factory structure, which is likely was is going to justify a groundbreaking ceremony.
Tesla then accelerated the Gigafactory 3 plans in response to the trade war between the US and China.
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.”
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.”