7,000 Model 3s manufactured at Gigafactory Shanghai destined for the European market have started to arrive in the Old Continent. Toscana, one of the ships carrying half of the Model 3 vehicles, has docked in the Port of Zeebrugge, Belgium.
Once the cars are unloaded and processed through customs, they will be exported to numerous European countries. This includes Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and Sweden.
Who Reported The News First?
Tesla ship tracker and Twitter user Morten Grove first reported Toscana’s arrival at Zeebrugge. Grove also stated that the ship docked next to Grand Aurora, a ship that carried Model 3 vehicles from Tesla’s U.S.-based Fremont Factory.
When Did Toscana Sail From China?
Toscana initially started its journey in late October following a commemorative ceremony in Shanghai hosted by Tesla executives.
Reminder: Chinese-Model 3 Particularities
Model 3 vehicles manufactured in China sport lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO) batteries. These types of batteries are cheaper to produce and contain no cobalt.
LiFePo batteries also have a longer lifespan, require little to no maintenance, and have an improved charge and discharge efficiency.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated during Battery Day that the automaker will opt for zero-cobalt batteries. Cobalt is the most expensive material used in the production of EV batteries. Discarding cobalt from production will help EVs become more affordable with time.
Tesla and China: A Partnership Made in Heaven
Tesla regards China as a primary base of operations for its global supply chain. Chinese authorities have implemented a lucrative subsidy program for New Electric Vehicles (NEVs) for until 2022.
This incentivizes Tesla and other EV-manufacturing companies to ramp up production and become more competitive. Tesla is able to achieve a production capacity at Giga Shanghai estimated at 250,000 units per year.
Additionally, the automaker announced price adjustments in early October for Model 3 vehicles in China. A standard 3 Model 3 car has a post-adjustment base price of ¥249,900, down from ¥271,550. The Long Range Model 3 variant is now priced at ¥309,900. Based on current exchange rates, the models retail at $37,992.57 and $47,114.45 respectively.
But the partnership does not stop here. According to a report by Reuters, Tesla is planning to start manufacturing EV chargers in China next year. The same report also stated that Tesla is planning to invest 42 million yuan (approximately $6.4 million) in a new factory that will manufacture these chargers.
The factory is expected to be completed by next February, and will have a production capacity of 10,000 chargers per year.
It remains to be seen if Tesla will export Model 3 vehicles from China to Europe at an increased rate in the future. The automaker is in the process of constructing its Gigafactory in Berlin, where production is expected to begin next summer. Additionally, Tesla recently announced 7,000 vacancies to be filled for Giga Berlin.
But nonetheless, China is vital for Tesla’s global expansion strategy.