Elon Musk talks rapid Tesla Gigafactory 3 construction, cites Supercharger buildout in 12 days

Tesla CEO Elon Musk interviewed by local Chinese news media, KNews, January 7, 2019. | Credit: KNews

In an interview with local Chinese media outlet KNews, Tesla CEO Elon Musk expressed his expectations of rapid completion of the country’s coming Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai. A groundbreaking ceremony was held yesterday morning in Shanghai’s Lingang Industrial Zone, the site where the building will be located. Musk has previously given a two-year estimation for construction to the production of the first vehicles, an amount of time already considered ambitious by many. However, the CEO’s confidence in Shanghai only seems to reinforce his previously provided timeframe.

Speaking with a KNews reporter, the business mogul referred to the pace of progress experienced during a large Supercharger network installation in Shanghai – achieved in a mere 12 days – along with the resources available in the city as reasons for his optimism. “I kind of was expecting rapid progress because I know how quickly things can be built in Shanghai,” he said. Construction work on the factory has already begun – a leveled plot of land and perimeter fence were spotted via drone footage in early December last year.

The Chinese government’s support of Tesla’s presence in the country has also been clearly evident via access to low-interest loans from local Shanghai banks and an unchallenged bid for a lot of land Gigafactory 3 will occupy. The energy around Tesla’s new construction and business endeavors in China clearly have Musk excited for its future.

“I’ve been very impressed with the construction in Shanghai. It’s very efficient, it’s very fast and high quality… And I first saw that when we were building the Tesla supercharger network. We were able to build this amazing supercharger, quite a big supercharger, in downtown Shanghai in like 12 days. It was amazing. It was like the fastest we’d ever built anything in the world,” he beamed to the KNews reporter.

The timelines for constructing resources for Tesla’s operations, i.e, superchargers and Gigafactories, are difficult to estimate due to the nature of local operations. Regulations must be met, permits acquired, and talent pools sourced. Since the Chinese government is acutely aware of the benefits of a large Tesla presence in the country from a market and employment standpoint, as well as the job seekers already excited to come on board with Gigafactory 3, these usual hiccups in construction projects seem to be minimized. Musk hopes to capitalize that to set new records for the auto company.

“We can set a new Tesla record for construction and make a beautiful sustainable factory that is our most advanced Tesla Gigafactory in the world and do so in the fastest period of time that we have ever built a Gigafactory…and do so because of the great resources and capabilities in Shanghai,” he remarked.

Watch the full KNews interview at the link below courtesy of @vincent13031925:

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