Tesla’s Shanghai Plant Reportedly to Produce 500K Vehicles Per Year

Tesla is reportedly planning to build a production plant in China that could deliver up to half a million cars annually.

The Bloomberg report, which cited unnamed sources, comes a little more than a year after Tesla confirmed it was working with the Shanghai government to establish a manufacturing facility there.

At that time, the company released a statement noting that Tesla was deeply committed to the Chinese market, and cited a need to establish local factories around the globe to ensure affordability for the markets they serve.

That includes Europe, where speculation is focused on where Tesla will build its proposed electric battery manufacturing facility and automobile factory.

While a location has yet to be decided, a tweet from Telsa CEO Elon Musk expressed his feeling that Germany was the best site on the continent.

Last month he tweeted that he thinks a site on the German-French border, near the Benelux countries, “makes sense.”

Meanwhile Tesla has struggled to meet its own production goals in the US, where it has a sole assembly plant in Fremont, Calif.

The company managed to produce more than 5,000 units of its Model 3 midsized sedan in the last week of June, at long last meeting a crucial goal for Tesla.

“We did it!! What an incredible job by an amazing team,” Musk wrote in an email to employees on July 1, posted by Bloomberg. “We either found a way or, by will and inventiveness, created entirely new solutions that were thought impossible.”

It was some much needed good news for a company that has struggled for months to fend off reports of financial trouble and skepticism over its driving assistance technology Autopilot, with multiple accidents souring public opinion of self-driving vehicles.

Tesla doubled its sales in China last year, to 14,000 vehicles, according to a February report in Sina Tech (website in Mandarin).

Three of the company’s largest charging stations are located in China, where the company is focused on building more as market demand for electric vehicles increases.

Automakers across the globe are eyeing China not only as a place to sell cars but an ideal location for testing and building electric and autonomous vehicles.

German auto giants Daimler and BMW have been opening research and development centers, partnering with Chinese corporate giants like Baidu, while Chinese ride-hailing company Didi has been working with automakers to bring autonomous ride-hailing services to Chinese cities.

The country’s recent move to allow the testing of self-driving cars on public roads suggests an eagerness to accelerate the development and implementation of these vehicles.

A January report from IHS Markit predicted China would account for 14.5 million of the 33 million autonomous vehicle sales in the year 2040, nearly twice as much as the next closest country.

Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter @dropdeaded209.

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