Tesla is now able to commence mass production of its top-selling Model 3 electric sedan at its Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, with Chinese authorities giving the official thumbs on Wednesday.
The ‘Made in China’ (MIC) Model 3s will be the first overseas-produced vehicles by the Californian car maker, which intends to output 3,000 vehicles per week from the Shanghai factory.
Available only in the Standard Range Plus variant, the MIC Model 3 will be identical to the US-made version except for the rear Tesla logo, which is in Chinese.
While it was originally believed that Tesla would commence manufacture on Monday November 11, Chinese authorities did not announce approval until Wednesday November 13.
It is understood, however, that although production of the MIC Model 3 is now approved, sales of the MCI Model 3 still awaits regulator approval.
Chinese residents are now able to order the MIC Model 3 through Tesla’s Chinese website, but these are not considered a sale until the purchase has been finalised and the vehicle delivered.
The news of the start of production at the Shanghai Gigafactory came as Musk announced at the BILD awards on Wednesday that Tesla had decided the location of its fourth Gigafactory in Berlin, Germany.
The Shanghai factory, which was built in just 10 months from break of ground in January and cost 65% less than its US-based EV factories, will now become a template for the build of the German Gigafactory 4.
Both the Shanghai Gigafactory 3 and Berlin Gigafactory 4 will produce the Model 3, as well as the yet-to-be launched mass-market Model Y electric SUV, which will now be launched a full quarter earlier than previously planned thanks to the rapid build.
Musk said at the Q3 earnings call that the opening of the Shanghai factory would also Tesla to triple its output – and with the location of the European Gigafactory now firm the EV maker will now look to further increasing its reach and output in Europe.
Tesla had previously made several trial Model 3s at the facility, which were then previewed by local media.