Construction Already Underway At Tesla Gigafactory 3 In China: Video

OCT 20 2018 BY MARK KANE 70

Here’s your first view of the Tesla Gigafactory 3’s physical location in Shanghai.

Tesla enthusiasts already came upon the trail of the Tesla Gigafactory 3 location, announced just a few days ago in the Shanghai Lingang Equipment Industrial Zone in China.

Here is the first video from the site. According to the description, locals confirm that construction work (leveling the area) already started.

Tesla Gigafactory 3 info:

  • initial production capacity 250,000 cars/battery packs
  • ultimate production capacity 500,000 cars/battery packs
  • expected models: Model Y
  • area size is 40% of that in Nevada for Tesla Gigafactory 1

Categories: China, Tesla

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70 Comments on "Construction Already Underway At Tesla Gigafactory 3 In China: Video"

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Any word on how long it will take to complete?

Less than 3 years in Musk time.

But, but, but…former InsideEv’s serial anti-Tesla propagandist DG assured us that there was no way that Tesla could quickly start construction on their Chinese GigaFactory because DG was tight with the Chinese powers the be!

Musk you state your expected timeline, to be so Xi acting?

No official estimate, but generally — outside China — it takes two years to build a new factory and fine-tune it for mass production. Of course we can expect Tesla to try to shorten that timeline, but it’s unlikely they can successfully reduce it by much. (Hopefully Tesla won’t try to finish it on an aggressively accelerated timeline and wind up taking even longer than normal, as they did with putting the Model 3 into production.)

But of course, this is in China, where petty local officials expect to be bribed and have their arse kissed regularly and often, in order to approve even the most minor of things. So it may take longer there, or not, depending on how successful Tesla is in navigating the red tape and the corrupt bureaucracy there. Hopefully they have, and will, hire locals to deal with that.

You mean hire more crony ruling party state law interpretation and regulation fixers?

That reads like you have some personal familiarity with Chinese culture. Me, I’ve only read about it. 🙂

There will not be red tape for electric vehicles as they have the blessing of their leadership. But given the trade wars, we cannot say anything.

Building the Model 3 assembly line was a Design/Build project, where Tesla built a brand new clean sheet car they had never built before, and a brand new clean sheet assembly line they had never built before. This led to about 2 quarters of delays.

The China factory isn’t a Design/Build project. It is a straight build project to copy a known working assembly line for a car they are already building. Tesla Grohmann Automation in Germany will create a duplicate assembly line using the same computer software that has already been written.

The assembly line will be constructed, tested, and validated off-site while the factory is still being built. Then it will be disassembled and shipped as the factory floor is complete enough to begin installing the assembly line.

Do you think Tesla can get the new factory up and producing in quantity in substantially less than two years?

You’re certainly right to say that all Tesla needs to do is duplicate the production lines they’ve got at Fremont and Gigafactory 1, but it’s my understanding that it pretty much always takes two years to build a large factory and fine-tune it for mass production. Tesla did manage to get the former NUMMI assembly plant up and running only 18 months after they took possession, but the building was already there, with a lot of the auto assembly line left in place. Plus, Tesla initially produced only low volumes of the Model S.

You are talking in the US this China where the factory is being built. It already has the blessing of the Chinese government leadership that alone will cut through most of the red tape. The Chinese can throw ridiculous numbers of workers at it if they want to. I would be surprised if takes longer than 1-1/2 years to get the factory built. By 2020 the thing should be built or almost.

I’m guessing at least 8 months to do all the underground work. Sewer, water electric, data, foundation and slab. You can simply put more people on a job and expect things to be completed sooner. Construction has a sequence I’m glad to see it’s getting starting though which is already sooner than I thought.

What we don’t know is how much work has already been done to start building out the China assembly line at Tesla Grohmann in Germany.

Tesla has stopped telegraphing ahead of time everything they are working on.

When Tesla was publicly talking about still trying to decide which city in China they would build the factory, they were already finalizing property purchases and lining up construction contracts. They were just playing cities against each other to maximize incentives publicly, while privately moving ahead on construction plans. We all knew nothing about it.

For all the news about Tesla that gets printed on EV websites, Tesla still keeps dropping huge shocker stories that blindside us.

Nix, you said upstream:

“The assembly line will be constructed, tested, and validated off-site while the factory is still being built. ”

I’m assuming that’s correct; that all the machines needed for the assembly line(s) will be ready and waiting when the factory is finished, or finished to the point that they can start installing the lines.

Obviously the sooner Tesla can start making cars in China, the sooner they can start selling Tesla cars at a competitive price there. So obviously Tesla has a very strong motive to start production there as soon as humanly possible.

I still think it’s possible Tesla may try the “production line in a tent” idea in Shanghai. However, as previously discussed, there are parts of a production line that aren’t suited to be put in a tent. If Tesla does go this route, then they may rent a building nearby or else they may try to rush the first part of the Gigafactory building into completion, or close enough to completion to allow installation of such things as the giant body panel stamping machines and the paint shop.

Construction timelines in China tend to be much quicker, with around the clock construction 7 days a week and lower standards in place. Look at all the skyscrapers shooting up like mushrooms, in this timeframe nothing is built in the EU or US.

Well, that sounds hopeful… other than the problem of lower standards of construction. Maybe we’ll see Model 3’s rolling off the line in Shanghai in only about 18 months, then!

Fingers crossed…

While there still is some difficulties for foreign companies caused by local politicians, I highly doubt that this will be the case against Tesla. The key is to be favoured by the high ranking decision makers. As Tesla is making EVs and catering to the wealthy elite that have a say with said high ranking decision makers, that usually can afford a Tesla vehicle themselves. Another motivation could be that the best way of learning how Tesla does it (to copy for Chinese EV industry), is to get local talent hired at GF3, for which it has to be running at peak efficiency. So I highly doubt that a local official that likes to slow down things would survive this endevour careerwise (and this being China, taking bribes and offending the wrong people upstairs, can reduce life expectancy as well, after an official public trial for bribery). The Beijing government has spoken that they want Tesla and even allowed them to be the first manufacturer to wholly own the company without being forced in a JV. So I expect GF3 to be built with Chinese speed that would apply to any Chinese company, and we can expect the outside building… Read more »

Sure there is corruption in China, but they do get things done if they want to. Especially if the Central Committee is taking an interest in the project. I think things will proceed accordingly and come in on time.

First of all, Model 3 did *not* take longer then normal to get to mass production. The original plan was to get there in about five years, in line with industry standards. After the reservation flood, they attempted advancing the timeline by about two years. In the end, with all the delays, it took about half a year longer than the accelerated timeline. (Or maybe a little more, depending on how you count…) Still some 1 1/2 years faster than “normal” — so when looking beyond all the overblown drama, the accelerated timeline was actually a major success. Now to the point. You seem to be suggesting that because Gigafactory 3 is in China, it would take longer to build than elsewhere. Pretty much everything I have heard on that matter actually suggests the opposite — including some remarks made by Elon himself in February. The speed at which they are completing various high-speed rail lines etc. also seems to confirm that construction in China is significantly *faster*. Last but not least, VW just started building their first dedicated EV factory in China — and they expect to ramp production in 2020. If conservative VW believes they can do that,… Read more »

The real issue, as I see it, isn’t the speed of Chinese construction; the real issue is that China has always been hostile to foreign trade. That goes back to the days of Imperial China. That hostility is entrenched in the bureaucracy and the local/regional governmental structure, which has hardly changed in the Communist era.

That is the real reason that Tesla cars have spent months sitting in customs in China. It’s not merely the existence of a lot of red tape; it’s the fact that at the local/municipal and Prefecture levels of government, there are active attempts to put barriers and delays in the path of foreign companies setting up shop in China.

We can hope that since Tesla is now partnering with one or more Chinese companies, that this entrenched opposition will disappear or at least greatly diminish. Certainly other American auto makers have had great success; I understand that China is now GM’s #1 market.

But everybody responding to my comments seems to be ignoring the trade war. Perhaps the central Chinese government looked benignly upon Tesla’s expansion in China, but will that last in light of the Big Cheeto’s stupid and counter-productive unilateral trade war with China?

It is by the sea.

That’s a really flat low lying site close to the water. I assume they checked flood risks.

The chinese probably spend more tax money on shore protection than the US generally do. You look at your sout-east coasts (like Florida and Louisiana) and one knows that the whole country benefits from paying a bit more taxes sometimes.

Well they are not “my” coasts since I’m not American. But for sure I wouldn’t recommend building a factory too near the Louisiana coast. Or anywhere on the gulf coast for that matter.

The tent is already there. Just needs a few robots.

It’s a sprung structure…

The Neighbours seem nice enough.

Bloody peasants!

A few missing teeth, but no blood.

not today. That was already dealt with.

Thanks Vincent. Keep updating.

But… but… but… Self-appointed “analysts” assure us that Tesla needs to raise billions of dollars before they can start on this project! It’s impossible for Tesla to expedite construction!

😆 😆 😆

Go Tesla!

Hmmm, looks like I mostly repeated what Get Real already said. Oh, well; great minds think alike… and so do ours! 😉

Great minds think alone.

Flattening land is cheap. It would be interesting to see the cost of the new factory as Tesla works to be profitable. This is yet another test for them. They’ve been relatively successful so far.

I can’t believe that construction will be delayed by so much as 1 single day for lack of funding. The Chinese Gigafactory is extremely important to Tesla’s growth, and they’re certainly not going to sit on their hands regarding funding the project.

I find it odd that analysts — or some of them — claim that Tesla will need to raise funds to build the Chinese Gigafactory, as though Tesla will need to have all the cash sitting in a bank somewhere before it starts. That’s absurd! Just like Gigafactory 1, Tesla will construct it, and fund it, in stages as necessary.

Tesla may have recently found it harder to raise more funds; that’s reflected by Elon’s very vocal determination to make Tesla net profitable on an ongoing basis. But I can’t believe that it’s gotten so much harder to raise funds that Tesla will have a hard time funding the Chinese Gigafactory. Making cars in China will be a project which should produce a very quick turnaround on the investment, and investors should be climbing all over themselves to throw money at Tesla for that project.

I’m sure Tesla got a line of credit loan from Chinese banks for 2 billion before they even purchased the land. Financing isn’t an issue. This should be a smooth project all the problems have been worked out, but it will still be over 2 years before production begins.

AIUI, this only affects cash flow, not profitability. And they said they intend to finance it by local debt (presumably backed by the factory itself?) rather than going to the capital markets — so I believe it should be pretty neutral in terms of short-term cash flow as well…

Well it seems they actually did raise money, but from Chinese bank loans. This wasn’t funded through profits. But I agree with you on the general point.

The geographic coordinates are 30°52’30″N, 121°46’15″E . Using Google Earth and the flyovers at the beginning and end of the video, the size of the land is about 1.6km N-S x 0.9km E-W (or 0.7 since the flattened land does not go all the way to the canal on the east side)

The size of the land was announced: approx 864K sqm, or 0.864 square kilometer.
Smaller than what you described.

Lots of other farmland around… I wonder whether they get the option to expand as necessary?

Thanks for the coordinates I wonder how often Google updates locations.

Great news! I’ll take my Model Y in black, please 🙂

Unless you live in some country in the Pacific Rim, you won’t be getting any Tesla’s from the China factory. It is for regional production only. Model Y production location for the US and EU markets is still unannounced.

Fantastic. Chinese move at a rapid pace. BYD built its bus factory in USA in just 12 months.
Hope they complete it and start the production quickly.

yeah, first off, that is not a factory. It is just assembly. They really do not make anything.

This is a use of the word “make” with which I am not familiar. 🙄

If they’re assembling vehicles, then they’re making them.

Were is Gigafactory 2? Did I miss something I thought this is the second one.

Gigafactory 2, was the Title given to the Once Solar City, now Tesla Energy, Buffalo Site that is Targeted to produce Solar Panels, at the Rate of 1 GW of Name Plate Output, per Year!

I know, its hard to keep up, if you have a life outside of Tesla News!

Thank you for the info

I think the plan was 2 GW per year?

Thank you for the link.

“area size is 40% of that in Nevada for Tesla Gigafactory 1”

That means that Gigafactory 1 (Nevada) is 2.5 times larger than the area size of Gigafactory 3 (Shanghai).

Gigafactory 1 (Nevada) = battery (cells+packs)
Gigafactory 3 (Shanghai) = battery (cells+packs) + EV’s

Shouldn’t the area size of Gigafactory 3 (Shanghai) have been larger than the area size of Gigafactory 1 (Nevada)?

I’m thinking that Gigafactory 3 will be a lot less empty desert and massive car parks and will never match the output of Gigafactory 1.

Land in Shanghai is more expensive than in the Nevada desert.
So you build higher, to safe cost. I also expect that most of the workers will arrive by public transportation or company bus shuttle service, as it is very common in China, so less need for parking lots. Lastly, this plant is scheduled to make 500000 vehicles and corresponding cells and batteries. Assuming a 75 kWh pack, that is 37.5 GWh, while the GF1 will produce 105 GWh when finished.
Currently GF1 is ramping to 35 GWh annual capacity at approx. 30% finished build-out, while also making battery packs and drivetrains for Model 3 as well as Tesla energy products.
So GF3 seems perfectly doable to me regarding the available space.

@ Some guy

“So you build higher, to safe cost.”

The heavy part of the production process at the ground floor, and all the remaining parts of the production process to locate at the first floor?

That could make sense.

Yeah, nobody puts auto assembly lines on an upper floor. But Tesla was building battery packs on the 2nd floor (for our British cousins, that would be the “first” floor) at the Fremont assembly plant before they started building Gigafactory 1. Presumably they could do the same on the 2nd floor at Shanghai.

As far as I’m aware Model S and X packs are still assembled at Fremont?

Just what I was thinking. Built up, rather than build out. No reason you can’t put the battery cell factory, and the battery pack factory, on one or more floors above the auto assembly lines. And no reason why Tesla can’t put in a high-rise, multi-level parking lot instead of having an enormous ground-level parking lot spreading out around the factory, as it is in the Nevada desert.

I don’t know over 200 acres seems like a lot of room. They can always build another factory if volume warrants it.

Yeah. Perhaps I’m exaggerating the need to build up rather than build out. But based on the rather scanty info in IEVs articles and comments to those articles, I get the impression that there is a lot more already built up in this Shanghai region than there is at the Gigafactory 1 site in Nevada. So I don’t think Tesla will be as free to spread out at the Gigafactory 3 site.

GF3 probably won’t make cells.

@ Doggy

“GF3 probably won’t make cells.”

Possible, but then the battery cells would have to be imported from the Gigafactory 1 in Nevada. And that is not very likely. Tesla will need all the cells they can make. Every continent will have at least one Gigafactory.

And furthermore, that would also not be in the spirit of what a Gigafactory should be like. Raw materials go in and complete battery packs come out.

Panasonic was in talks to open a factory in China. Tesla might wind up buying Chinese-made cells from Panasonic. Those cells might or might not be made at Gigafactory 3, but probably will be made in China, even if they’re not made by Panasonic.

A friend of mine was living in Beijing for a short period. She went on a trip over the weekend, and by the time she returned the dirt track behind the hotel had been transformed into a four lane tarmac urban road, fully open to traffic.
Elon time is just a lazy week in China!

A similar but even more crazy example (which seems to have gone somewhat viral, and was tweeted by Elon himself) was a train station they completely replaced with a new one literally overnight… Must be a pretty surreal experience: you leave from the old station in the evening, and when you come back next morning, you are in a totally different place 😉

Tesla going about its mission of transforming the world into energy and transportation sustainability one Giga factory at a time. China has one of the most polluted air environments in the world because of sudden industrialization but will soon clean up its air thru BEVs and Solar and Wind,and lead the world in BEVs