In popular folklore, Texas has always been the place where everything’s bigger, but China is increasingly usurping that title, especially when it comes to electric vehicles. To give just one example, while US and European cities are beginning to deploy electric buses in pilots of a dozen or so vehicles at a time, Chinese cities have been ordering electric buses in lots of a thousand for several years.
We already know that Tesla is relying on the world’s largest auto market for a huge chunk of its future growth, and Elon Musk has been buttering up the Chinese lately. In a statement for the recent World New Energy Vehicle Congress, he called Chinese automakers “the most competitive in the world.” More recently, in a video released as part of the World Internet Conference, he said China is “a global leader in digitalization,” and reaffirmed that “Tesla will continue to expand our investment and R&D efforts in China.”
Some of that expanded investment is on display at Tesla’s new delivery center in Beijing, which is said to be the largest in China, and possibly the world. The 120,000-square-foot building has over 100 spaces for deliveries, and an early photo showed them slap-full of new Model Ys.
The new facility is part of a big buildup of Tesla’s delivery infrastructure in China, as it begins deliveries of a new, cheaper version of Model Y. The Model Y Standard Range (no longer available in the US, alas), starts at ¥276,000 (about $42,500). The new price, enabled by a new government EV incentive, is expected to drive a sales surge for the already-popular Model Y.
The volume of Model Y deliveries is also swelling with orders from outside China. Gigafactory Shanghai is becoming a major export hub for Tesla. Model Ys bound for Europe will presumably be coming from Shanghai until the German Gigafactory comes online.
Tesla China released a video about the opening of the delivery center.