Tesla began shipping 7,000 Model 3 produced at Gigafactory Shanghai to Europe. The cars passed all the certification requirements for entering the European market.
They are set for arrival in Belgium at the end of next month, and will be delivered to countries including: Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Switzerland, and Sweden.
A Small Ceremony To Commemorate the Milestone
Tesla executives in China and local governmental officials held a small ceremony to celebrate this achievement. Tesla Executive Grace Tao attended the event, alongside Executive Deputy Mayor of Shanghai Chen Yin, among others.
Prior to being boarded, the cars were photographed spelling out the word “Tesla” on the Port of Shanghai.
Benefits of a Chinese-Made Model 3
The batch of Model 3 vehicles that are being exported to Europe have a particular trait. They sport lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, which are cheaper to manufacture and contain no cobalt.
CEO Elon Musk announced during Battery Day that Tesla will produce zero-cobalt batteries. Cobalt is the most expensive material used in the production of EV batteries. Eliminating it helps electric vehicles become a more affordable product, and achieve cost-parity with ICE-cars.
Coincidentally, Tesla announced price adjustments earlier this month for its chinese Model 3 cars. A standard Model 3 now has a base price of ¥249,900, down from ¥271,550. At current exchange range, the base Model 3 is priced at $37,078.40 USD. The long-range Model 3 is now retailing at ¥309,900, or $46,146.97.
Significance of Giga Shanghai and China to Tesla
Giga Shanghai, and China as a whole, constitute a vital base of operations for the company. Chinese authorities have implemented supportive subsidies for electric vehicles. Last April, the Chinese government extended their subsidy program for new energy vehicles (NEVs) for two years, until 2022.
This enables Tesla to become increasingly competitive in the country. The company has effectively increased its production capacity at Giga Shanghai to 250,000 units per year.
The automaker thus has an extra capacity for other markets besides meeting Chinese consumers’ demand. The 7,000 Model 3s that are being shipped to Europe fall under that category.
Tesla is rapidly ramping up production and expanding its operations globally. And Giga Shanghai is playing a huge role in that.