Tesla Motors’ US$2-billion battery gigafactory in China is one step closer to reality, after the company signed a land agreement last week for an 860,000-square-metre site in Shanghai, according to a social media post last week.
“Securing this site in Shanghai, Tesla’s first gigafactory outside of the United States, is an important milestone for what will be our next advanced, sustainably developed manufacturing site,” Tesla VP of Worldwide Sales, Robin Ren, said in a prepared statement.
“Tesla signed a long-anticipated deal with Shanghai authorities in July to build its first factory outside the United States, which would double the size of its global manufacturing and help lower the price tag of Tesla cars sold in the world’s largest auto market,” Reuters recalls. Last week’s deal “marks a key step toward the firm and its Chief Executive Elon Musk making cars locally in China for the fast-growing market, even as tariffs imposed by Beijing on U.S.-made goods have caused it to hike prices of its imported models.”
China’s sales of New Energy Vehicles—a category that includes all-electric and hybrid models—increased 54.8% in September and 81.1% over the first nine months of the year, to 721,000 vehicles, the news agency states, citing the country’s leading auto industry association. “Beijing, however, is reining in subsidies for the sector, concerned about overcapacity and ‘blind development,’ with many inside the industry expecting a shakeout to hit the wide array of smaller local electric car start-ups.”