Tesla President of Automotive Jerome Guillen and Shanghai Deputy Deputy Wu Qing held a meeting on Tuesday, discussing the progress of Gigafactory 3's development in Shanghai Lingang Industrial Zone. The Tesla manager and Chinese official shared in-depth updates on the project, including an estimated time frame for installation of the plant's production lines for vehicles.
Local news agency Laoyaoba who covered the meeting pointed out that the installation of the vehicle's production equipment could start as early as May, when the initial phase of the plant is expected to be completed. This represents a remarkable accomplishment for both the electric car manufacturer and the building partner, considering that Gigafactory 3 is one of the most ambitious foreign owned projects that have been attempted in China.
Based on this latest update, it seems that Tesla is planning to start the production equipment production in Gigafactory 3, while other areas of the 864,885 square meter area are still under construction. This is a bold and risky move on Tesla, but if the electric car manufacturer pulls it off, such a strategy will probably help the company meet the goal of starting Model 3 production in Gigafactory 3 by the end of 201
Guillen and Wu also discussed the latest milestones of the project. Construction work in Gigafactory 3 started back in January, and since then the first phase of the building has gone very well. Pin structures have been implemented and the steel structure of the factory has begun. Several sets of steel roof grilles are also finished.
Gigafactory 3 is under an incredibly ambitious timeline. During the break of the plant, Elon Musk noticed that he expects the factory to be finished in the summer. This time frame was mocked by Tesla's skeptics, many of whom claimed that such a goal was impossible. This was to Shanghai official Chen Mingbo stated that Gigafactory 3 was on track to finish by May, a date even more ambitious than Musk's estimate.
Part of the reason for Gigafactory 3's rapid progress is the support Tesla enjoys by the Chinese government. Tesla's presence in China is beneficial for the country, which aggressively presses for the decision of electric vehicles. In a statement to Xinhua News Cui Dongshu, General Secretary of the China Passenger Car Association, noted that Tesla's China production will have a "catfish effect" in the country's automotive industry, and push domestic car manufacturers to accelerate and improve Their own electric vehicles compete with the Silicon Valley-based electric car maker.
China's support to Tesla was evident during Musk's visit to the country. When Musk met with Chinese premier Li Keqiang in Beijing, the CEO was received at the Tower of Violet Light, a place usually reserved for dignitaries. Li also appeared receptive to Musk's ambitious ideas, and even offers CEO a "Chinese Green Card" so he can pursue his vision in the country freely.