China has given Tesla its formal approval to begin Model 3 production activities in Gigafactory 3. The announcement came amidst the release of a list from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which included Tesla as one of the government’s sanctioned automotive manufacturers.
By giving Tesla an official approval, the Chinese government has pretty much given the green light to the electric car maker to start Model 3 production activities as soon as possible. This means that as of now, the ball is on Tesla’s court, and it will be fully up to the electric car maker to determine how quickly it could start manufacturing the Model 3 in its Shanghai-based facility.
Such an update bodes well for Tesla, which is reportedly looking to hit a production rate of about 1,000 Model 3 per week at Gigafactory 3 by the end of the year, according to a Reuters report. For this to happen, Tesla must be able to refine the massive electric car production facility’s lines in the coming months. This could prove to be a challenging endeavor considering that the end of 2019 is only about ten weeks away.
One thing that could help Tesla reach this goal is for the company to begin Model 3 production this October. Doing so would give the electric car maker several weeks to make adjustments to Gigafactory 3’s lines, allowing the company to streamline its manufacturing systems by the latter end of the quarter. Tesla already has permission from the government to start producing the Model 3 in Gigafactory 3. Thus, it would be wise for the company to accelerate its manufacturing initiatives even more.
Fortunately for Tesla, the State Grid Corp of China has recently opened the first transmission line to Gigafactory 3 as well, providing ample power to the massive complex to support initial vehicle production activities. According to a Bloomberg report, State Grid has noted that it would be increasing the power supply for Gigafactory 3 as the facility becomes more complete and as its electric car manufacturing activities ramp up. State Grid further mentioned that its Gigafactory 3 project, which involved laying 55 km (34 miles) of cables and about 17 km (10 miles) of ducts, only took about six months, making it as one of the fastest projects that the company has undertaken to date.
During the site’s groundbreaking ceremony last January, Tesla CEO Elon Musk estimated that Gigafactory 3 will start initial Model 3 production by the end of December 2019. This timeline was aggressive, and it resulted in its own fair share of raised eyebrows from the company’s critics. With Phase 1 completed and a formal approval now released, it would appear that Gigafactory 3 could start initial Model 3 production sometime in October instead. It’s pretty ironic, but it might seem that Elon Musk’s timeframe for Gigafactory 3 might end up being quite conservative.