Tesla is planning to double Gigafactory Shanghai’s production capacity by adding a new building that could supplement the Chinese factory with 450,000 additional vehicle builds every year.
A letter from Tesla, which provided details regarding the automaker’s process of reopening the factory following a three-week closure due to a COVID-19 outbreak, detailed the plans. Tesla wants to expand the plant’s manufacturing output by building a new plant on another piece of land near the Gigafactory Shanghai campus, according to Reuters. The new facility would effectively double the production output of the Shanghai plant, which produced 484,100 vehicles in 2021. This accounted for 51.7 percent of Tesla’s total deliveries last year, outpacing the Fremont Factory, which is reportedly operating at as much as 20 percent above capacity.
The plans would make Gigafactory Shanghai “the world’s largest vehicle export hub,” as Tesla utilized the factory to keep up with demand for the company’s cars in Europe. Before Tesla’s Gigafactory Berlin was given the green light to begin production and deliveries, Tesla was shipping Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built in Shanghai to Europe as bureaucratic red tape kept the European plant from beginning deliveries and production.
Tesla has had plans to expand Gigafactory Shanghai’s operations for some time, but the nature of the additional manufacturing lines was unknown. An environmental assessment released in early 2022 showed that Tesla planned to implement a “new model line” in Shanghai, which would add thousands of new employees, bringing the plant’s total workforce to around 19,000 workers.
Plans for the expansion were expected to begin in December 2021 and be completed by April 2022. The project would cost ¥85 million ($13 million), regulatory paperwork revealed.
Tesla resumed production in Shanghai in April, and manufacturing has already rebooted to a pace of 80 percent, according to reports. Tesla received help from authorities in Shanghai’s Lingang Special Area, who helped carry out numerous processes to help the facility regain operational status following the shutdown.
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