Tesla’s preparations for Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, China are underway, with the company recently listing a number of new job postings for the upcoming facility. The new Shanghai Gigafactory 3 job openings come amidst reports that Tesla is also in the process of acquiring a site where the battery and electric car facility would be constructed on.
Tesla has posted job openings for the Shanghai Gigafactory in the past. That said, the electric car maker posted a new set of job listings for the upcoming facility on October 11, including positions for Senior Managers for Construction, Mechanical Design Engineers for Building Infrastructure, and Electrical Design Engineers. These postings were listed on Tesla’s Careers page on its website, as well as the company’s official WeChat account. Overall, the updated Gigafactory 3 job listings invoke the idea that Tesla is assembling the team it needs to break ground and start the construction of the facility.
The ongoing hiring ramp for Gigafactory 3 goes in line with Tesla’s recent statement in its Q3 2018 vehicle production and deliveries report. When the electric car maker released its findings for the past quarter, the company mentioned that it was accelerating the construction of the Shanghai factory. The update augmented the company’s initial timeline for the project, which estimated vehicle production to start two years after initial construction begins. In its Q3 report, Tesla noted that it expects Gigafactory 3 to be capital efficient, considering the lessons that were learned with the Model 3 ramp.
“We are accelerating construction of our Shanghai factory, which we expect to be a capital efficient and rapid buildout, using many lessons learned from the Model 3 ramp in North America,” Tesla wrote.
Apart from an ongoing hiring ramp, Tesla is reportedly attempting to acquire land for Gigafactory 3. Reports citing individuals familiar with the proceedings have indicated that Tesla is bidding on a plot of land with an auction price of $145 million. If Tesla’s bid is successful, the Shanghai government could formally allocate the land to the electric car maker as early as this month.
Despite the company being faced with a stream of skepticism and controversies over the online actions of CEO Elon Musk, the progress of Gigafactory appears to have been consistent over the past months. Last September, for example, a reporter from Beijing Business Daily noted that around 30% of Gigafactory 3’s initial capital has been secured. Reports from China’s local media also suggested that the Shanghai government is assisting Tesla in obtaining loans from local banks to help fund the construction of the battery and electric car factory.
Gigafactory 3 would be Tesla’s first major facility that combines both battery and electric vehicle production. Despite its vehicle production capabilities, Elon Musk noted during the Q3 2018 earnings call that he expects Gigafactory 3’s cost to be “closer to $2 billion” at the 250,000 vehicle-per-year rate, making it less capital-intensive as Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, which is expected to cost $5 billion when complete. One done, Tesla expects Gigafactory 3 to produce up to 500,000 vehicles per year.
It should be noted that while Tesla’s targets for Gigafactory 3 are incredibly aggressive, the company’s timeline is not that farfetched. Gigafactory 3, after all, does not need to be fully completed before it begins vehicle production. This is exhibited by Gigafactory 1, which is less than 30% complete but is already operating and supporting the battery needs of the Model 3 production ramp. Gigafactory 3 is also being built in China, a country with a construction workforce that has earned Elon Musk’s approval for its near-surgical efficiency and quickness.