Ever since it first launched the Roadster more than a decade ago, Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has consistently been the most prolific electric vehicle maker in the world. Reports show that the American EV company has sold nearly two million electric vehicles since its inception, with 32% of the units sold since 2016 being purchased in the first half of 2021. From late 2018 to 2019, Tesla began construction of a Gigafactory in China and started producing Model 3s at the site with an initial production goal of 250,000 EVs per year.
Tesla recently announced that the Shanghai Gigafactory had achieved a major milestone, producing its millionth electric car and cementing its place as Tesla’s new global export hub. This comes nearly a year after CEO Elon Musk revealed that the Shanghai factory’s production capacity had surpassed the company’s Freemont factory. During the Annual Meeting of Stockholders in October 2021, Musk said that since Gigafactory Shanghai began production, Tesla had noted a significant increase in its production and delivery numbers.
Tesla had made the Chinese factory its new main export hub just a month before. Although the factory had been meant to develop EVs for local sales, it was able to achieve a production capacity of 450,000 EVs after only two years of production and surpass the company’s expectations. Gigafactory Shanghai has been an unmitigated success so far, beginning production just a year after construction started and becoming the largest electric vehicle factory in the globe within just two years of operation.
By the end of 2021, Gigafactory Shanghai had an annual production rate of more than 800,000 EVs, and this capacity is expected to grow. Tesla recently began upgrading the Shanghai factory and upped its production capacity to 21,000 electric cars per week, stating that it would be shutting down the site from early July 2022 to the first part of August 2022 to carry out the upgrades.
At the moment, Tesla only produces the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y SUV at this facility. According to Bloomberg, the upgrades will increase the Shanghai factory’s output from 11,000 Model Ys to 14,000 units, and 5,500 Model 3s to 7,700 units per week. After being impacted by coronavirus lockdowns, supply chain constraints and voluntary shutdowns, Musk noted that the Shanghai factory is now back to a production capacity of half a million EVs per year. Once the extensive upgrades are complete, the factory production capacity will increase to a million electric cars a year.
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