Will Tesla grow its presence in China in 2021?

Tesla is poised to have a big 2021. Giga Shanghai is beginning to hit its stride and expected to pump out a record number of vehicles. How many? In Tesla's latest earnings report, the company stated a current capacity to deliver 450,000 vehicles. But could the number actually be bigger? 

Above: People flock to a Tesla showroom  in China to check out Tesla Model Y (Source: @JayinShanghai / Twitter)

Per Teslaratiindustry insiders told local news agency 36 Krypton that Tesla China would be looking to build 550,000 cars in 2021, comprised of 300,000 Model 3 and 250,000 Model Y. 

Furthermore, a study conducted by Chinese financial company China Industrial Securities suggests that Tesla's Giga Shanghai should produce over 500,000 cars this year.   

According to this study, at the end of the year (EOY), Tesla is expected to build 278,000 Model 3s and 275,000 Model Ys at Giga Shanghai. Note: 100,000 of these Model 3 and Model Y EVs are expected to be exported to Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East as well.

Tesla retail investor and enthusiast @Ray4Tesla shared this study via his Twitter account. Since the information is in Chinese, he was able to translate the info and come to his own conclusions.

Twitter: Ray4Tesla

Since Tesla’s massive Gigafactory in Shanghai recently reached weekly production capacity of 8,000 cars per week, the automaker doesn't require a huge leap to reach (at least) 500,000 cars per year in 2021.

Tesla officially launched the Made-in-China Model Y in January and according to China Central TV (CCTV via another investor and Tesla enthusiast @JayinShanghai), 100,000 cars have already been pre-ordered by Chinese customers.

Twitter: JayinShanghai

The SUV body type could turn out to be more popular in China. The launch of MIC Model Y compact electric SUV created so much excitement among potential customers that they flooded Tesla stores to get an in-person look. According to reports, people even waited outside Tesla stores in China to check out the newly introduced Model Y.

Twitter: JayinShanghai

Car carrier trailers and huge car transport vessels have already been seen transporting Chinese-made Model 3 and Model Y EVs within the country (videos below). 

Twitter: JayinShanghai

Meanwhile, Tesla has also managed to source lithium hydroxide for its battery production for the next five years from China recently. In addition, Tesla's Supercharger Network in China has grown nearly 30% in the past two months and the company recently celebrated its 700th Supercharger at a ski resort in Beijing. It's new Shanghai Supercharger factory recently opened as well.

Tesla's efforts in China could start to become quite compelling as 2021 unfolds. The future could prove to be promising in a country that Tesla has made significant in-roads into over the past few years.


Written by: Iqtidar Ali. An earlier version of this article was originally published on Tesla Oracle.