The facelifted Tesla Model 3, also known as Project Highland, has reportedly entered trial production at the American EV maker’s Chinese Gigafactory in Shanghai, according to local publication JRJ.
A screenshot of the news piece was posted on Twitter by the user @liuwen_52 and then retweeted by Tesla owner and enthusiast @ray4tesla, alleging that mass production is expected to begin next month, while deliveries could start in October at an estimated price of around 200,000 yuan, which is about $27,700 at current exchange rates.
Here’s the translated report (via Google Translate):
“It is reported that Tesla’s facelifted Model 3 has already started trial production and it is expected to start mass production in September and start deliveries in October. Compared with previous expectations, this progress has been advanced. According to the estimated cost of components, the guide price of this new car is around 200,000 yuan, and it will use the 66 kWh M3P battery provided by Ningde Times. It is understood that the M3P battery may be mainly used purely with lithium manganese iron phosphate. With the early trial production of the Model 3, lithium manganese iron phosphate is expected to accelerate the release of capacity.”
According to a renewed agreement from 2021, Ningde Times (which owns CATL) will supply Tesla with lithium-ion batteries until the end of 2025.
As with everything related to Tesla, it’s almost impossible to confirm this information, seeing how the Austin-based company doesn’t have a media relations department, but if the JRJ report proves true, it would be the missing piece to the puzzle that started with the pushed back delivery estimates for European-bound Model 3 units.
As previously reported, the EV marque’s website now estimates that new Model 3 orders will be fulfilled between October and November at the earliest for rear-wheel drive and long-range variants, while new Performance builds are scheduled for delivery between November 2023 and January 2024.
These estimates are only valid for left-hand drive units, though, with new right-hand drive Model 3s on track to be delivered as soon as this month, according to Tesla’s website.
Project Highland has been under development since the second quarter of 2022 and judging by the multiple spy shots posted online in the last few months, it appears that the refreshed Model 3 will come with a redesigned face, new tail lights, the company’s new Hardware 4.0 Autopilot computer, and a restyled interior.
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