Recent documents submitted to Shanghai authorities have indicated that Tesla plans to add an EV parts recycling facility to Gigafactory Shanghai. The planned facility would allow Tesla to repair and reproduce crucial components such as electric motors and battery cells, allowing the company to operate in a much more efficient and environmentally friendly manner.
China has a reasonably aggressive sustainability plan for its transportation sector, and it shows in the country’s EV sales figures. Last year alone, China sold more than 1.3 million electric and hybrid vehicles locally despite headwinds from the pandemic. Regulators have also added rules on recycling essential EV parts, which would allow carmakers to save on materials while protecting the environment in the process.
As stated in a Reuters report, Tesla’s documents indicate that the company would be adding manufacturing capacities for car structures and electric motor controllers. The filings, however, did not provide detailed figures about the upcoming facility’s actual capacities.
Tesla China is currently localizing the supply chain for the Model 3 and Model Y, the two vehicles it produces at Gigafactory Shanghai. Tesla has also made efforts to ensure that its cars are well supported across the country, as hinted at by the construction of a dedicated Supercharger production factory in Shanghai.
Tesla notes on its website that most of the materials used in its vehicles’ batteries are recoverable and recyclable. This was highlighted by Elon Musk back in 2019 when he responded to a statement from battery expert Mark Ellis, which suggested that Model 3 batteries were extremely impractical to recycle. According to Musk, not only was Tesla only recycling its vehicles’ batteries; the company is also putting a lot of effort into developing high-efficiency battery recycling systems.
“Tesla is putting significant resources into high-efficiency battery recycling. Makes both environmental & economic sense. Please consider joining if interested in recycling engineering!” Musk wrote.
Tesla’s operations in China are hitting some momentum this year despite an influx of negative media reports. Just last month, Tesla China sold over 35,000 locally-made vehicles. Gigafactory Shanghai is also now manufacturing vehicles for foreign territories such as Europe.
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