Tesla to build Model Y units for Canada in China

Tesla wants to start shipping electric cars produced in China to North America. To this end, Tesla apparently started production of a version of the Model Y for the Canadian market at its Shanghai plant in early April.

This is reported by Reuters with reference to an insider and a production memo seen by the news agency. According to the memo, the Shanghai plant is expected to produce around 9,000 units for Canada in the current second quarter of the year. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment. In China, Tesla is known to manufacture the Model Y using lithium iron phosphate batteries. Both the Model 3 and Model Y are sold locally, but also exported to Europe and other markets.

Tesla likes to refer to Shanghai as the hub of its production, and there is said to be an annual manufacturing capacity of 750,000 vehicles there. On the occasion of the latest Q1 results, Tesla CEO Elon Musk also announced in a subsequent call that the Tesla plant in Shanghai has the “lowest cost structure” of all Tesla factories.

The export to North America would of course be new, as Tesla operates a local plant there in Fremont, California, with an annual capacity of 650,000 vehicles (including 100,000 Model S and X). However, the agency’s report fits in with the fact that Tesla has just launched the sale of a cheaper Model Y variant in Canada. This is the Model Y with rear-wheel drive and LFP battery, which, with a base price of just under 60,000 Canadian dollars, opens up the model’s access to government subsidies. Tesla’s website lists May to July as the delivery date for this new version.

The introduction of the lower-priced Model Y for Canada not only qualifies it for the subsidy but also the long-range model already available there for 69,900 Canadian dollars, as it is now officially a variant of the new entry-level model, which also becomes eligible as a higher-priced version priced below 70,000 Canadian dollars. The Canadian government’s website was updated on Friday, according to Reuters, and has since confirmed a bonus of 5,000 Canadian dollars for both versions.

reuters.com, driveteslacanada.ca, tesla.com


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