Giga Shanghai, the first Tesla car factory on Chinese soil, began operations in December 2019. The construction of the facilities was completed in record time. The works had started in January of the same year, a milestone, which has allowed the American brand to increase its competitiveness in China, the largest market for electric cars in the world.
Thanks to local production of the Model 3 Standard Range Plus RWD and Long Range RWD, Tesla has managed to avoid the high tariffs imposed on cars imported from the United States. This in turn has led to the sedan managing to lead the ranking of electric car sales in the Asian country.
However, many experts indicate that in the short term Europe will surpass China as the largest market for this type of vehicle, something that will occur as a result of the approval of the new emission limits. It will force manufacturers to electrify their ranges quickly to avoid the massive fines provided for those who do not comply with the new regulations.
In this context, the construction of Giga Berlin, Tesla’s first European factory, takes on even greater importance than that of Giga Shanghai. Therefore, the statements by Joerg Steinbach, the Brandenburg state’s economy minister, did not catch anyone by surprise, saying that the North American company wants to build its German plant in less time than its Asian sister.
“Tesla’s goal appears to be to improve the construction time of Shanghai Gigafactory 3. In my opinion, they could do it.” Despite the various pitfalls the project has encountered, including numerous criticisms from local citizens for deforestation of the land on which the plant will be located, the goal is to have the facilities operating at full capacity by mid-2021.
The first model to come out of the Giga Berlin production lines will be the Tesla Model Y, a family SUV whose biggest rival will be the Volkswagen ID.4, which will also be produced in Germany (specifically at the Zwickau plant). Later, both the Tesla Model 3 and a compact will be added to face the Nissan LEAF and Volkswagen ID.3.