Earlier today, Tesla China revealed the price of the Model 3 Standard Range Plus variant that will be produced in Gigafactory 3. Starting at RMB 328,000 (~$47,400), the locally-made vehicle is RMB 49,000 (~$7,000) cheaper than the US-made Model 3 SR+’s price, which was listed at RMB 377,000 (~$54,500). The savings for the locally-made vehicle are significant, though Tesla noted that the expected delivery time for the Gigafactory 3-produced electric sedan is 6-10 months.
While the price of the Made-in-China Model SR+ still puts the vehicle in the same price range as that of competitors like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class (the China-made versions of which are also sold at around the RMB 330,000 or ~$47,700 range), the electric sedan from Silicon Valley has notable advantages in the way that customers would save on license taxes and fees. Rated at 460 km (285 miles) per charge under NEDC standards, Tesla’s Gigafactory 3-produced Model 3 will likely be the company’s bang-for-your-buck vehicle for the Chinese market.
Immediately after pre-orders opened, Tesla enthusiasts in China noticed that the company’s official website was significantly getting slower. It did not take long before Tesla’s official Weibo account posted an update apologizing for the slowdowns in its official site. According to the electric car maker, the first order for the Made-in-China Model 3 was completed within 3 minutes after reservations were opened, and more orders followed soon after.
“The first order (was) completed within 3 minutes of the reservation opening. Due to extreme high demand of the Chinese-made Model 3 on the official website of Tesla, the traffic is too large; please be patient. Or please visit stores,” Tesla wrote.
Eventually, Tesla’s China website seemingly got overwhelmed with traffic, displaying 404 errors for users attempting to access the site. Tesla enthusiast @arcandrally, who tried to access the Model 3 configurator in China, observed that Tesla.cn started diverting online traffic to experience stores as a temporary solution.
While a number of Chinese social media users expressed their disappointment at the higher-than-expected starting price of the Gigafactory 3-produced Model 3, the vehicle’s launch was nonetheless met with widespread support from the Tesla and electric car community. Overall, it appears that the large amounts of traffic that drowned Tesla China’s website shows but a hint of the interest surrounding the vehicle from the country’s car buying public.
At the center of Tesla’s push in China with the locally-made Model 3 is Gigafactory 3, whose factory shell is now all but complete. Following the construction of the factory shell, the facility is set to undergo ground hardening in June. These will be followed by pipeline communication, equipment stationing, equipment commissioning, and trial production runs, which could start as early as September barring any unexpected issues.