Tesla plans to complete construction of four vehicle production facilities for its Shanghai Gigafactory by September 2019, and construction of other important facilities, such as a power system factory, is expected to finish by March 2020 as part of its first phase of plant construction, the 21th Century Business Herald reported, citing an internal document.
The document, which includes assessment of the environmental impact of the Tesla factory's initial construction, detailed the electric vehicle-maker's localization plan in China.
According to the document, these first projects have investment of 14 billion yuan ($2.09 billion) and are expected to produce 150,000 Model 3 electric cars each year once construction is finished. Tesla's Shanghai factory, with a total investment of over 50 billion yuan, will have an annual production capacity of 500,000 electric cars.
Specifically, four facilities for pressing, car body manufacturing, coating, and final assembly will be finished by September, according to the plan. And by March 2020, other facilities such as those for seat production and power systems, are slated for completion.
Industry insiders said Tesla's plan to build four workshops in Shanghai by September is "very ambitious," as construction of the Gigafactory just broke ground in January, and building an automotive plant generally takes at least 12-13 months.
Even if the four workshops are completed as scheduled, "it is unlikely that Tesla could start local production this year," said a supplier who is close to Tesla. But industry insiders also highlighted another possibility: at the initial stage, Tesla may import the main Model 3 parts from the U.S. and finish assembling at the Shanghai plant.
Tesla has been accelerating its push into China's booming electric car market to pocket a profit. The company delivered its first shipment of Model 3 vehicles on Friday, with hopes that the relatively affordable electric car model could generate more revenues for the company.
At an annual report released last week, the carmaker said the Shanghai factory is important as delays in construction could potentially keep the company from reaching Model 3 production goals.