made-in-China Model 3

Tesla Gigafactory 3's Battery & Powertrain Factory Shell is Nearing Completion


Tesla Gigafactory 3’s battery and powertrain factory is nearing completion. At the rate Tesla China is going, Phase 1.5 could be up and running by mid-2020, right in time for a potential final deal with CATL--which will be providing battery cells to Gigafactory 3 for the Made-in-China Model 3.

The Shanghai factory will be building the Made-in-China Model 3’s battery packs and powertrains inside Phase 1.5. As seen in drone-operator Wuwa Vision’s latest video, the facility's factory shell is almost complete. There has been significant progress in the battery and powertrain facility since early November when fellow drone-operator Jason Yang posted a video of Gigafactory 3.

Back then, workers had just started working on the roof of the facility or what seemed like the ceiling of each floor. Now, the battery and powertrain facility's exterior seems almost complete, and its interior can barely be seen. It should be noted that when Phase 1's factory shell was this far along, initial tooling was already being conducted inside the building. Nevertheless, it seems certain that by 2020, work on Phase 1.5 of GF3 will probably focus on fitting the inside of the building with the necessary equipment for battery pack and powertrain production.

Tesla-Gigafactory 3-Phase-1

Credit: Wuwa Vision/YouTube

It is still unknown when the locally made parts for the MIC Model 3 will be available. Although it looks as if GF3’s battery and powertrain facility could be operational sometime next year, which is just in time for Tesla China’s reported final negotiations with local battery supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL). Gigafactory 3 is reportedly in talks with CATL for battery cells for the locally-produced Model 3.

So far, GF3 has been using powertrains and battery packs from Tesla’s Fremont Factory. The next-gen automaker has been shipping US-made auto parts for the MIC Model 3 since Tesla China still needs to find and negotiate deals with local vendors, like CATL.

Recently, the Chinese government suspended tariffs for US-made auto parts and vehicles, which could have affected Tesla’s presence—maybe even sales—significantly. The MIC Model 3 is Tesla’s Standard Range Plus variant. The all-electric car maker still needs to import the Model 3 Long Range and Performance versions into China. Plus, the locally-made Tesla sedan still needs parts from Fremont—as mentioned above.

When GF3's battery and powertrain facility is complete, it will bring the Shanghai branch closer to being self-sufficient. Gigafactory 3's independence and self-reliance could affect Tesla's gross margin positively in the long run and Model Y production in the Shanghai factory as well.

Gigafactory 3 as a whole is still far from being fully finished, even with Phase 1.5 nearing completion and further phases still waiting to break ground. Leaked blueprints or plans for the GF3 lot from Ray4Tesla revealed that at least two more large buildings will be built in the area. So after Phase 1.5, GF3 will likely only be 30 to 50 percent complete.

Featured Image Credit: Wuwa Vision/YouTube

About the Author

Claribelle Deveza

Claribelle Deveza

Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.

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