Work starts on Tesla factory in Shanghai

Ground has been broken on a factory in Shanghai for electric car maker Tesla, the company’s first outside America. The Pudong District Gigafactory will make Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y for Chinese customers.

Elon Musk, Tesla founder and chief executive, announced on Twitter that work on the factory was due to be completed this summer, with production beginning before the end of 2019.

The exact size and cost of the plant has not been confirmed by the firm, but Forbes reported that it would measure 860,000 sq m, and Bloomberg added that it would cost $5bn.

Tesla’s decision to build in Shanghai appears to be a reaction to the developing trade war between the US and China.

As the company said in a press release in October 2018: "We were able to significantly increase Model S and X deliveries despite the headwinds we have been facing from the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China.

"Those trade tensions have resulted in an import tariff rate of 40% on Tesla vehicles versus 15% for other imported cars in China."

The Shanghai Gigafactory is Tesla’s third; the original is in Nevada, and the second is in Buffalo, New York.

Image: Tesla’s headquarters in California (Wikimedia Commons/Windell Oskay/CC BY 2.0)

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