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The signing ceremony held for the agreement. (Photo: Electrek)
The signing ceremony held for the agreement. (Photo: Electrek)

Tesla has reached a preliminary agreement with the Shanghai government to set up its first overseas assembly Gigafactory 3 at Lingang near Shanghai’s free-trade zone, with an annual capacity to produce 500,000 electric vehicles.

The wholly foreign-owned plant will be the one of the largest overseas manufacturing investments in the Chinese city.

The automaker said that it plans to start construction in the near future for the first cars to roll off the line in 2 years.

In response to tariffs imposed by the US, China increased the import duty on US-made vehicles to 40% recently, prompting Tesla to raise prices. Chinese Telsa buyers are expected to benefit as local production will eventually result in lower prices for the cars.

In addition, local production will facilitate faster delivery for Chinese market where Model S and Model X could take up to six months and more than a year to deliver now respectively.

The investment by Tesla followed the Chinese government’s April announcement to scrap the 50% foreign ownership limit for vehicles powered by alternative energy. Every foreign ca rmaker can only assemble in China with local venture partner now.

Tesla sold 14,779 vehicles in China last year, according to data from LMC Automotive, an automotive focused forecasting and market intelligence services provider. China accounted for 17% of Tesla’s revenue for 2017, according a filing with US regulators.

After moving ahead in China, Tesla will reveal plans toward the end of 2018 to build a plant in Europe, according to Bloomberg’s report.

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