Tesla Gigafactory 3 starts interior work amid escalating US-China trade war

The Gigafactory 3 site as of May 12, 2019. (Credit: Wuwa Vision ??/YouTube)

Recent drone footage taken from Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 site reveals that work on the massive electric car production facility is underway despite the escalating trade tensions between the United States and China. As Gigafactory 3’s factory shell nears completion, workers appear to have started focusing their activities on the interior of the upcoming general assembly building as well.

The recent videos of Gigafactory 3 were shared on YouTube and other social media platforms this weekend. Drone operator Wuwa Vision (烏瓦), who has been following the facility’s buildout since late last year, mentioned that the external wall of the electric car factory is nearing completion, with sections of Gigafactory 3’s outer wall getting Tesla’s trademark red accents. From the air, it is evident that roofing of the factory continues to spread, with the roof of the rumored stamping area getting paved. A flyby of the site conducted at night by a separate drone operator shows that Gigafactory 3 workers are still adopting 24/7 operations.

Work in Gigafactory 3 remains incredibly quick, with visible progress being reported on the site despite the escalating trade tensions between the United States and China, which is weighing down the US market today. On Monday’s pre-market alone, futures for the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq fell amid China’s upcoming 25% tariff on a portion of US goods. China’s initiative appeared to be a response to the Trump administration’s decision to raise the rate of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25%.

Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 is following an incredibly ambitious timeline that exceeds that of Elon Musk’s own optimistic estimates. During Gigafactory 3’s groundbreaking ceremony last January, Musk noted that he expects the facility to start initial Model 3 production by the end of the year. China upped the ante on this timeframe, with a Shanghai official noting that the initial buildout of Gigafactory 3 should be completed by May. The rapid buildout of the facility so far suggests that this May target might very well be achieved.

If Gigafactory 3’s initial buildout does make it to the May deadline, the facility could be on track to start Model 3 trial production as early as September, giving Tesla ample time to refine its electric car production lines to enable mass production by next year. Gigafactory 3 is an essential facility for Tesla. By having electric cars produced locally, Tesla could sell its vehicles at far more competitive prices. Musk has already announced that Gigafactory 3 will focus on the affordable versions of the Model 3 and Model Y, highlighting the company’s intention of bringing its electric vehicles to China’s mass market even further.

Watch the recent progress of Gigafactory 3 in the video below.

And here’s Gigafactory 3’s continued night activities.

Tesla Gigafactory 3 starts interior work amid escalating US-China trade war
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