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by Claribelle Deveza November 08, 2019

Tesla's final plans for Gigafactory 3 reveals that Elon Musk isn't done building his Shanghai factory just yet—he's just getting started. Pictures of Giga 3's future layout were shared by Ray4Tesla via Twitter. Thanks to his information, Tesla investors and enthusiasts can get a glimpse of GF3's final form.

Ray4Tesla shared two pictures of Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai. One of the photographs was of the inside of the facility. Within the inner of walls of GF3, there are rows upon rows of robots building the Model 3—at least until the Model Y comes. Similar pictures have been seen before, but the other picture Ray4Tesla shared was quite rare.

The other picture was more of a graphic depicting the Gigafactory 3 complex, except it didn't look the way it does now. The image revealed that there are more phases in Tesla's Shanghai factory beyond the battery facility that's currently under construction. As it turns out, the final form of Gigafactory 3 will look very similar to Tesla's full design for its Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, which is on track to become one of the world's largest buildings by footprint.

Phase 1 is already complete and fully functional. According to Ray4Tesla, it is comprised of the facilities for stamping, body manufacturing, painting, and general assembly. Tesla has already received a production certification and is only now waiting to obtain a permit to sell the vehicle to the Chinese market. About 30 Model 3 units were spotted by drone operator Jason Yang in late October, so Tesla has been putting its production certification to good use.

Recent drone footage of the GF3 lot has shown that Phase 2 is nearing completion as well. It will be Tesla China's battery facility. Elon Musk has already finished preliminary discussions with the CEO of CATL, a China-based battery supplier, for made-in-China Model 3 sedans. CATL may provide Tesla the batteries it needs in China by mid-2020, if final discussions go well.

Tesla has kept mum about Gigafactory 3's next phases, which is why they are so interesting. However, Tesla enthusiast speculated that Elon Musk's plans for the next GF3 phases may have something to do with his dream of a fully automated factory.

Musk's dream of a hyper-automated car factory was shared when Tesla started work on the Model 3. Unfortunately, his vision didn't pan out, and he had to switch to a human/robot-run setup in the Fremont factory, which culminated in the unorthodox but efficient GA4. It doesn't seem like Elon has forgotten his dream of machines that build machines, however, and he may be trying to build a facility just like that at Giga 3.

Currently, Tesla China is waiting to receive its final manufacturing license, which presumably will allow the company to distribute Model 3's in China, said Chairwoman Robyn Denholm. Gigafactory 3 workers are keeping busy with Model 3 trial production for now.

Another one of Ray4Tesla's tweets may have revealed that the electric car maker has already produced over 500 units of the Model 3 or is planning to do so. He shared a picture of a China-made Model 3 with a VIN ending in 553.

The last numbers of the VIN suggest that over 500 units have already been made at GF3, or at least registered to Chinese regulators. Another Tesla enthusiast, JPR007, tried to dig up more information about the Model 3's VIN, but it led to vague answers.

He found the Model 3's VIN in a decoder. Its manufacturer was not listed, only the Model year 2020, and where it was manufactured, China. It also stated that the Model 3's sequential number was 000553, which supports the theory that Tesla may have already produced at least 553 vehicles in the Shanghai-based facility.

Tesla Global's VP Grace Grace Tao stated GF3 would be producing 3,000 units a week as soon as the factory gets its final certification and runs at full capacity. The Shanghai factory just received permission to start trial production about a month ago or less. If it has already produced 553 vehicles since then, Tao's 3,000-a-week goal doesn't seem too far-fetched.


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