The plan is for the plant to be able to repair and manufacture motors and battery cells, as well as recycle the latter.
Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory has churned out tens of thousands of cars since it went online over a year ago. Now the manufacturer wants to expand the plant’s capabilities by adding a battery and electric motor repair and recycling facility, as well as the ability to manufacture electric motors and motor controllers, as well as structural components for vehicles.
The big news here is the battery recycling part of the equation. According to Reuters, Tesla wants to make its Shanghai location more sustainable and self-sufficient and recycling battery packs is an integral part of the plan to turn it into one of the world’s main hubs of electric vehicle manufacturing.
Currently, Tesla’s Chinese factory is manufacturing the Model 3 and Model Y both for the local market, as well as for export. Just last month, Tesla reportedly sold 35,000 locally-manufactured vehicles in the People’s Republic, and many more reached European showrooms.
It’s worth noting that since electric vehicles have only been around in their current form for around a decade, and we’re not yet faced with the problem of what to do with their battery packs at the end of their life. Tesla has mentioned in the past that it wants to tackle this problem at its Shanghai facility through a unique process that it has so far not detailed. It did say that it’s
Developing a unique battery recycling system that will process both battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries. Through this system, the recovery of critical minerals such as lithium and cobalt will be maximized along with the recovery of all metals used in the battery cell, such as copper, aluminum, and steel. All of these materials will be recovered in forms optimized for new battery material production.