Recent flyovers of Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 site in Shanghai, China reveal that several other structures surrounding the main general assembly building are now being built. Interestingly, one of these appears to be a Supercharger station, which would allow Tesla owners to charge their vehicles when visiting the electric car production facility.
Images of the apparent Supercharger buildout were shared by Tesla community member and local resident Chao Zhou, who has been monitoring the site since its early days. A formal confirmation of the buildout being a charging station has not been released by Tesla China yet, though it should be noted that the outline of the structure is very similar to a number of Superchargers found in the United States.
Tesla is currently rolling out its next-generation charging infrastructure in the US. Simply dubbed as the V3 Superchargers, the new stations are capable of supporting peak rates of up to 250 kW or around 1,000 mph per vehicle. This allows a car such as the Long Range Model 3 RWD to recharge 75 miles in just 5 minutes. In comparison, V2 Superchargers used to have peak rates of ~120 kW per vehicle, though recent updates from the carmaker have raised this to 150 kW per car.
Considering that Gigafactory 3 represents the best and latest innovations of Tesla in terms of Model 3 production, there is a pretty good chance that the Supercharger under construction in the site will be fitted with V3 chargers as well. Elon Musk, after all, has previously expressed his intention for Tesla to roll out more Supercharger V3 stations across the globe. With this in mind, perhaps Gigafactory 3 could have the honor of being one of the first foreign locations that will be graced by the company’s most advanced charging technology to date.
Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 will only be producing affordable versions of the Model 3 and Model Y for the local Chinese market. Both vehicles are designed to tap into the country’s growing mainstream EV segment, which has seen notable growth over the years as the country started adopting a more supportive stance on electric cars.
Production of the Model 3 in Gigafactory 3 is expected to begin sometime later this year, with Elon Musk noting during the facility’s groundbreaking ceremony last January that the first electric cars would likely roll out of the site by the end of 2019. Local reports have hinted at more aggressive targets than Musk’s estimate, with some reports stating that trial production runs of the Model 3 could begin as early as September. Once operational, Gigafactory 3 is estimated to adopt an annual run rate of 150,000 vehicles initially, before ramping to a rate of about 500,000 electric cars per year.