Tesla Model 3 Expected To Become “Most American-Made” Car Of 2017
While the Tesla Model S is known as the “Most-American made” EV, the upcoming Tesla Model 3 may steal the title.
The Tesla Model S has an opportunity to be the most American car overall (12th overall in 2016), with the growth of battery production at the Tesla Gigafactory. Likewise, by the time the Model 3 comes along, and the production of the new 2170 cells increases, there won’t be much to the Model 3 that isn’t made in the States.
When Tesla’s vehicles are powered fully by batteries made in the U.S., they will rise up on the list, especially since batteries are a primary component of the makeup of an EV. There are many less parts than traditional ICE vehicles, and the batteries make up a substantial amount of the vehicles’ weight and cost.
The Model S sits around 75 percent American-made, because some parts are still sourced overseas. This trumps the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ram trucks, and the Chevrolet Silverado; all of which are considered “primarily” U.S. made. The three GM midsize SUV cousins; the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave, are about 90 percent American, based on the scale developed and calculated by the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, D.C. It factors R & D, parts, and labor.
Based on Kogod’s scale, the Tesla Model 3 should be about 95% American-made. While not quite as high, this may also hold true for the Model S. Even the Model X, despite more outsourcing, will score fairly well as the Gigafactory ramps up production.
Currently, Tesla still relies on Panasonic battery cells from Japan. CEO Elon Musk has spoken about Panasonic expanding operations in the U.S. and in the future, and not having to rely on its overseas locations for batteries. He also stated that materials used to make the batteries will come from America.
All of this should also help Tesla gain the support of president-elect Donald Trump, who continues to criticize American car companies for outsourcing overseas.