Tesla has delivered the first cars from its Chinese Gigafactory, just under a year (357 days) after the company started building its Chinese plant. Tesla said it wanted to begin delivering cars before January 25th. These locally-made cars are already cheaper than imported models, and a Bloomberg report said the company could lower prices more as it cuts costs and uses more locally-sourced parts.
Tesla hopes to use its Shanghai factory to gain a foothold in China, the world’s largest market for electric vehicles. The Shanghai Gigafactory is the first 100% foreign-owned car plant in China.
The Standard Model 3s produced will be sold for around $50,000 (before subsidies), while models imported currently start around $63,000, according to Reuters. Next year could see prices drop by as much as 20 percent because they will begin using more local parts and materials.
Now, the challenge for Tesla will be to increase production. The company has said that it hopes to make 3,000 Model 3 cars per week by early next year, according to Electrek, increasing to as much as 500,000 vehicles a year within two to three years — an average of just under 10,000 a week.
Tesla’s speed in setting up Gigafactory 3 is a very good thing for Gigafactory 4, which the company’s CEO Elon Musk announced in November will be located in Berlin. The company says that it wants its European Gigafactory to be operational by 2021. Musk says his plan is to build as many as 10 or 12 Gigafactories around the world.