The progress of Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 in China has been nothing short of astounding. Recent images of the site reveal that as of May 2, roofing of the upcoming general assembly building is all but finished and parts of the facade are now being built, giving the appearance of a factory shell that is nearing completion.
What is particularly interesting is that the work on Gigafactory 3 continued despite China celebrating its Labor Day holiday on May 1. Footage taken on the holiday itself revealed that workers were busy paving the upcoming factory’s roof and operating heavy machinery. Pictures taken on May 2 showed less heavy equipment on the facility, though work was evidently still ongoing. These activities confirm a statement from a worker on the site, who previously remarked that work on Gigafactory 3 continues 24/7.
The rapid pace of Gigafactory 3’s buildout appears to be a strategic move by Tesla’s construction partner. China’s rainy season usually starts in June, which could potentially slow down work in several exterior sections of the facility, such as its roof and facade. As could be seen in recent videos of the site, work on Gigafactory 3’s roofing and facade is accelerating, suggesting that Tesla and its construction partner are attempting to finish the sections before the rainy season begins.
Based on the speed of the project so far, it will not be surprising if the Phase 1 buildout, which includes the construction of a general assembly building for the Model 3 and Model Y, will be finished in May, as announced by Shanghai official Chen Mingbo. Following this, reports have hinted that ground hardening activities could start in June, followed by pipeline communication, equipment stationing, and equipment commissioning. Once these are completed, a trial vehicle production run could happen as early as September. From this point, Tesla could then refine and tool the factory to produce the Model 3 at scale.
Gigafactory 3 is expected to produce affordable versions of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y for the Chinese market. By producing vehicles locally, Tesla will be able to avoid the steep tariffs that China places on cars that are imported abroad. This will also allow Tesla to lower the prices of its vehicles to a point where it could compete with local electric car manufacturers, most of whom have undercut the company’s previous offerings like the Model S and Model X in price.
Watch a flyover video of Gigafactory 1 during China’s Labor Day in the video below, courtesy of Tesla enthusiast Jason Yang.
These images of the Tesla Gigafactory 3 site were taken on May 2, just one day after.