Tesla has given the green light to launch its first Gigafactory for batteries production outside the US in China, company chief Elon Musk has confirmed.
The new Shanghai plant confirms a pledge by Musk to one day set up business at the heart of Asia’s booming batteries sector.
And Musk told shareholders the next stop for Tesla after Shanghai would be Europe. He said the company would announce detailed plans for what would be its third Gigafactory at the end of this year.
Musk declined to give a schedule for the China project, saying only that more would be announced next month.
However,Tesla Motors’ Asia-Pacific VP Robin Ren said the company looked forward to working with authorities in China “in a year to come”. Tesla had already had “really great discussions” with regional governments in China, Ren added.
Meanwhile, Musk has said future Gigafactories “will include vehicles, battery packs and powertrains as a single integrated (production) unit”.
Musk hinted in 2015 that Gigafactories could be on the cards in China, India and Europe, in a bid to satisfy local demand for batteries.
BBB has confirmed that Tesla registered a company in Shanghai last month for the production of batteries, energy storage devices, electric vehicles and other products including R&D. The company is wholly-owned by Tesla’s Hong Kong division and the new venture’s commercial address was given as Shanghai’s Pudong New District.
BBB reported last December that Tesla had formed another company in China— Tesla (Beijing) New Energy R&D Co Ltd— for the research and development of batteries and energy storage devices.