February 12th, 2019 by Kyle Field
The breakneck pace of work at Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory continues with the announcement that the company has started an energy conservation assessment in cooperation with several governmental agencies.
In a further update, Chinese media noted that the project would be completed in the summer of 2019.
The first phase of the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai is only an estimated 10% of the total planned capacity of the plant and will be producing the first cars by the end of this year.
The factory will produce Tesla’s smaller Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, launching with the Model 3 and starting production of Model Y essentially in parallel with production in the United States (at Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada).
Chinese media also mentioned Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory construction will be completed this summer, 2019.
— Vincent (@vincent13031925) February 11, 2019
Completing construction of the exterior building by the summer would give the company time to get into the building to install the “machine that will build the machine” — also known as the Alien Dreadnought. Tesla has invested a significant amount of the total effort that went into building the Model 3 in optimizing the vehicle design for production, even going so far as to buy a factory robotics firm.
Looking back, Tesla broke ground at the new Shanghai Gigafactory just in early January, so having the building up in a short 6 months would be a feat by itself. The prospect of building cars less than a year after breaking ground would be nothing short of a miracle, but Tesla has been increasingly accurate with hitting its publicly stated goals in recent months. This shows an increasing ability to manage the message and move away from “Elon Time” for external messaging, while maintaining the impressive sense of urgency internally that is required to deliver against the impressive goals Tesla continues to set for itself.
Among those goals is a target to increase automotive production 50% in 2019 versus 2018, which requires scaling Model 3 production up to meet global demand. The first shipment of the Model 3 to Europe landed in the port city of Zeebrugge, Belgium, last week, with many more cars heading out of San Francisco on the way to European and Chinese customers for the first time.