Tesla China Gigafactory Video Update


Foundational work is fast and furious.

The building of the Tesla Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai continues at a rapid pace. At the official groundbreaking of the factory, where the automaker will produce the Model 3 and Model Y for China and other far east markets, the large plot of land was a flat, muddy expanse. There was basically a small building, a temporary stage for the ceremony, and several piledrivers. As you can see in the video above, the change from seven weeks ago is pretty dramatic.

Halfway through January, our construction update showed the beginnings of progress, but nothing especially dramatic. Then, early in February, new drone footage revealed some concrete slabs had been poured. Now, with the lengthy Chinese New Year vacations over with, the scene has been transformed.

Some smaller buildings are going up, and there is a small army of pile drivers pounding footings for further foundations. As you can see in the footage, these are not (unfortunately) electric machines. The air is thick with diesel exhaust as they (literally) lay the groundwork for a cleaner future.

The two-minute video above is an excerpt from a longer production. We’ve embedded that seven-minute one below, and although an understanding of Chinese may help one to more fully appreciate it, it is a bit better quality and includes a few more scenes of the site, along with a couple interesting vehicles spotted on the trip to the property. For instance, at the 11-second mark, the camera appears to capture a Chevy Volt (or is it a Buick Velite 6?) in the wild. Then, 51 seconds in, the lens spies a Tesla Model X in the wild.

The construction is slated to continue for most of the year. Tesla does hope to begin initial vehicle manufacturing before the end of 2019. This is, of course, extremely ambitious, but this latest scene does give us hope.  The automaker’s midsize Model 3 has just begun deliveries in the country with cars produced at the company’s Fremont factory. Production becoming local near the end of the year should go some way towards reducing the carbon footprint of the vehicles and the cost.

Source: YouTube via Vincent on Twitter

Categories: Tesla, Videos

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41 Comments on "Tesla China Gigafactory Video Update"

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I have few doubts that Tesla will be making cars in China soon, maybe not yet during 2019 but maybe starting 2020.
Now these videos about the construction works are a mess, others didn’t show much, this one show what it seems a mess with not very organized tasks and labor intensive in away unthinkable even for not so rich countries and probably possible because wages in China are still low.

I seen a construction site not a mess.

Alex, do you think the Chinese contractor capable of building a Gigafactory in a year is disorganized? China has over 18,000 miles of high speed rail currently under operation. How many miles of HSR does America have? 0. China has plans to install 140 gigawatts of solar in in the next 20 months, that’s in addition to already having reached it’s target for PV installations for it’s current 5 year plan. China, who is estimated to sell 2 million BEVs in 2019. I think China probably knows what they are doing. Reminds me of the saying: Never show a fool a job half done

I think they do it with a lot of man work, loads of pollution, poor safety (construction is one of the most dangerous activities in China and it’s not getting better).
They film machines that smoke more than a tank from the WWII and so unlike Tesla, the entire place seems to be buried in smog.

Do I think they’ll be able to make it in 1 year – Yes. Do I think this video shows nice things? No way.

The video shows pile driving machines doing pile driving. If you don’t know anything about construction (and you clearly don’t) then It doesn’t really tell you much.

I can understand that it is possible to look at that film and not be impressed with the progress if you were expecting more by now. But what I read in your comments above is not just someone who is unimpressed; I read someone who is making a point of looking for things to complain about, regardless of whether you actually understand what you’re seeing or not.

The trouble is that you’re stretching too hard. Your complaints come across as bitter, uninformed, and more than a bit racist. Please stop digging now before you make yourself sound even worse.

Your comment reminds me of watching a small team of contractors, a few months ago, replace the roof on the A-frame house next to ours. I thought the work looked pretty disorganized and haphazard… and yet, they managed to remove and replace that entire roof, from top to bottom (clear down to the ground) with just a handful of guys in a single work day. By the time they were finishing, I was quite impressed with the efficiency of their process. My reaction went fairly quickly from “I can’t believe how much of a mess they are making” to “I can’t believe they are already almost finished!”

I rather suspect someone with a trained eye would see something very different in that video than you see, Alex.

Alex is a serial troll. He or she searches far for reasons that we shouldn’t adapt EVs because of his or her Russian oil and short seller status. This is the latest of the litany. Just ignore the noise and move on would be my advice. I must admit the chaos of China and substandard wages while making an EV factory is a creative new avenue – Bravo Alex. Geez don’t you have a better way to spend your time?

No, clearly he has nothing better to do, since he’s a serial anti-EV troll here.

If you look careful to my comment you’ll read that I’m complaining about smog and vehicle smoke.
You guys when don’t like the comments – basically when someone doesn’t say amazing things about anything that is slightly related with Tesla – it’s not EVs – the brain freezes and let’s call them “Russian trolls”. And before you complain about me saying that your brain freezed (and I admit it’s not nice to say), first demonstrate I’m a Russian or a troll, after that I’ll apologize – if the reason is with you.

I will agree that Tesla could have made it a requirement that the contractors use (primarly) EVs for the construction. But they may not have much options in that regard if they wanted a soon completion.

The poster said “Russian oil” not troll … but who knows maybe he’s on to something … plenty of them around today, and in your case, you don’t exactly prefer fact based arguments, do you? So …

“If you look closely. I am complaining about the smog and vehicle smoke involved in the construction of a factory designed to end vehicles that smoke and the smog created by vehicles and vehicle factories as quickly as possible?”

China is working to fight climate change they believe in science. Whereas our current administration denies climate change and is trying to bring back coal. The senators and representatives of his party are so afraid to confront him and the lunacy that happens on a daily basis.

Are you real??? I have not seen more ignorant statement for a very long time. China is responsible for over 40% of global pollution. And guess what, it is increasing. Just check number of their coal power plants operational and built. To make things worse, they 100% finance construction of those coal power plants in poorer countries in Asia and Africa. Honestly, stop spreading Chinese propaganda here.

You moron (being ironic) China is not polluting when they are building a Tesla factory :).

Again, read again what Ron M said (he never said China is NOT polluting) ….you are just making crap up on the fly, hoping it sticks, just like some other popular politician.

China is an incredibly rapidly developing country. This doesn’t mean they aren’t making efforts to change. A top of my head example would be the massive transition to electric buses that their cities are making. Meanwhile in that same time frame most US cities are still without a single electric bus.

I’m afraid for China subscribing to climate change is just another move on the chess board by the Chinese communist party in the softpower (so far, while it is feverishly expanding its military options) war it is waging against the west as it inexorably moves to become the world’s leading superpower. China is often very willing to sign treaties but only if they feel it will advance their position, for instance by not upholding their end of the bargain. China’s often violated WTO commitments come to mind.

Of course they do, just like US or Russia … Why would China not want to be a superpower???? You or I might not like it, but so do many people dislike US being the one.

“…this one show what it seems a mess with not very organized tasks…”

Well, your comment shows one thing without question: That you know nothing about how large-scale construction projects are run.

Your comment shows you’re the ignorant one – and now, where’s the reason?!

How does their comment show ignorance? Please explain.

No, wait, on second thought don’t bother. It’s clear you’re deluded and utterly unable to accept when you’re wrong. I guess various people replying to you who actually know about construction, including the guy who actually works IN construction, are all clueless and you know best.

You obviously have never been to a construction site …. Good that you are not an analyst of any sort … I hope?

It’s no “dance of the bobcats” but I’ll take it.

I wonder if anyone can read the vandalism early on in the fencing in blue spraypaint. It looked like “for a good time, call: ” but my Mandarin isn’t very good.

It’s “吊车 13056089991” means “Crane 13056089991”

It looks like it says “crane and then numbers”. I assume that is the cell phone numbers to call for cranes.

Call it and find out.

That is just sick. Girls are one thing, but doing it with cranes is just sick. Gives the phrase “Birdie, namn nam…” a new meaning. 😉

Wow now that’s progress I can’t wait to see next week. I’ve never seen that many pile driving rigs on a single site.
I’m guessing the bus the drivers to and from the work site.
I suspect Tesla already has a date for shipping the assembly manufacturing equipment. I guess by June right after the slab wall and roof are installed.

That’s because China piles tons of people on everything, the government handles virtually everything that way. If their government didn’t prop up their economy, it would have collapsed long ago.

I seen everyone in the video working not a clipboard in site. I also didn’t see more workers than needed.

China’s coal consumption to rise to 3.89 bln tonnes in 2019

Explaining the increase in coal consumption worldwide
“Coal remains the main energy source to produce electricity
Worldwide, coal consumption for electricity generation is almost growing at the same rate as the electricity consumption (2.8% per year versus 3% per year between 2000 and 2017). As a result, the share of coal in the power mix has almost remained steady for the past 20 years around 40%”
// and yes, this article puts a little blurb about how China has “restrictive policies” to reduce coal consumption, but then goes on to talk about how they really aren’t
/// not that there’s anything wrong with that.

In the 50’s many homes were heated by coal or oil an average home would use 5 tons of coal to heat a boiler from October to April. So all of the coal consumption isn’t just because of electric generation. Remember in 1980 you wouldn’t hardly see a car in China and everyone dressed in a drape green.
China is working to clean up the air and environment. The people demand it. What kind of life is it. If you can’t breathe the air outside.

Nice thought, but when you are ADDING another 250 GW of new coal plants, well, that means they are lying.

While I don’t think China cares too much about emissions overall I do think China is interested in moving emissions to other locations, so no more heavily polluting industry and power plants too close to cities. Not because the Chinese communist party are these great humanitarians but because they fear the discontent high levels of smog may cause.

Interesting! I’ve never actually seen a pile driver in action before, and here there is a whole forest of them!

The construction site certainly does look as busy as would be expected from all those astonishing reports about almost literally overnight construction in China.

Keep going Tesla!

P-P, Having worked on Bridge Replacement jobs, for the CNR in Canada, I have worked beside “ONE” Diesel Powered Pile Driver, and a couple years ago, there was one I could watch from our Motel Room window, but never saw a forest of the rigs, that’s for sure!

While much of how we build is done more Serial fashion, I think in China, doing things in Parallel, is a big difference in how big projects are sped along.

General Air Quality, from the Drone Shots in the longer video, is not so different than earlier drone video, in January. Local Exhaust from the Diesel Pile Drivers, is typical, even here in Canada, but there are just more of them in concentration together, makes it look bad.

What’s of interest is how soft the dirt is, as witnessed by how far down the Pile Driver hammer moved on one stroke!

“What’s of interest is how soft the dirt is, as witnessed by how far down the Pile Driver hammer moved on one stroke!”

I noticed that too, altho since this is the first time I’ve seen a pile driver in action, I couldn’t be sure that was as unusual as it appears.

If the soil is as soft as it appears, then it looks like they are gonna have to sink the foundation supports down to bedrock.

Love the 1970’s police detective TV series music!