Tesla plans to open a new “Megafactory” to manufacture massive batteries in Shanghai, China, the car company announced in a tweet on Sunday, deepening Tesla’s ties to the Chinese market despite previous criticism of its connections to the country.
Tesla said the factory will be capable of producing 10,000 “megapacks” a year—or large lithium battery storage products intended for power stations that the company says can power some 3,600 homes for one hour.
The company already has a Megafactory in Lathrop, Calif., that can produce the same number of megapacks.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet the Shanghai factory will “supplement output of [the]
Megapack factory in California.”
Tesla didn’t specify when the Shanghai-based factory will open, but Chinese state-run news outlet Xinhua says the factory will break ground later this year and open next year.
56. That’s how many stores Tesla has in mainland China. The city of Shanghai is home to Tesla’s largest manufacturing facility outside of the U.S.
China is a key market for Tesla, accounting for a large share of the company’s electric vehicle sales. Tesla has slashed prices for its cars in recent months, in part to better compete with rivals in China. But the company has faced scrutiny for its relationship with China, especially as U.S.-China tensions worsen. In January of last year, Tesla was criticized for opening a showroom in the Xinjiang region, an area of the country where reporters and watchdogs say the Chinese government has detained thousands of members of the mostly-Muslim Uyghur ethnic group, and other minority groups. Both the Trump and Biden administrations accused China of committing acts of genocide in the area. Tesla’s move was denounced at the time by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who said it was “helping the Chinese Communist Party cover up genocide and slave labor.” It was also criticized by The Alliance for American Manufacturing, which called the decision “especially brazen,” and the the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
$187.9 billion. That’s how much Forbes estimates Musk is worth, making him the second-richest person in the world today.
It was reported last month Musk was planning to visit China sometime in April to meet with China’s new Premier Li Qiang, a close ally of President Xi Jinping.
Elon Musk Reportedly Planning China Visit Next Month To Meet With Xi’s No. 2 (Forbes)
Tesla Criticized For Opening Showroom In China’s Controversial Xinjiang Region (Forbes)