Tesla Giga Shanghai raises parts production capacity amid China-made Model 3 ramp

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Recent reports have indicated that Tesla is looking to increase Giga Shanghai’s car parts production capabilities as part of the company’s efforts to localize its supply chain further. The news was recently broken by Reuters, which referenced a government document indicating the electric car maker’s plans. 

According to documents submitted to the Shanghai government by Tesla, the company is currently planning on adding more lines to Giga Shanghai. This should allow the electric car maker to produce more battery packs, electric motors, and motor controllers, among other parts. By doing so, Giga Shanghai would gain the capability to produce more vehicles for the Chinese market. 

So far, vehicles produced in Giga Shanghai still use parts that are sourced from abroad. By the end of December, for example, reports indicated that about 70% of the Made-in-China Model 3’s parts were imported to China. This is something that Tesla intends to change, with reports stating that the company will eventually be sourcing 100% of its car parts from local Chinese suppliers.  

The documents submitted by the company to the Shanghai government also point to Tesla aiming to double its annual building capacity for several key vehicle parts. Among these are cooling pipes, which are used for the heat management system of electric vehicles. Giga Shanghai reportedly has the capacity to produce 150,000 cooling pipes per year, but Tesla will be raising this output to about 260,000 annually. 

This increase is particularly interesting considering Tesla’s Model Y program in Giga Shanghai. Since the Model 3 and Model Y share 75% of their parts, some of the additional cooling pipes that Tesla is looking to produce may very well be allotted for the all-electric crossover. That being said, it should be noted that Tesla has not provided capacity details for other vehicle parts in the documents it submitted to the Shanghai government. 

Perhaps the most telling among the documents accessed by Reuters is one which revealed that Tesla is building an additional stamping line for Giga Shanghai. The purpose behind the construction of this additional stamping line has not been disclosed by Tesla in its filings to the Shanghai government, but it would not be surprising if the additional machinery would be used for the production of the Model Y. A dedicated Model Y stamping line in Giga Shanghai makes sense, after all, considering that the all-electric crossover is expected to feature larger casts than its Model 3 sibling. 

A filing in 2018 pointed to Tesla producing 150,000 vehicles per year in Giga Shanghai, with the company later boosting its capacity to 250,000 annually. With Gigafactory Shanghai now in operation, the facility is expected to help Tesla reach its goal of producing 500,000 cars in 2020. 

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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