Tesla’s most-affordable electric car inches closer to production in China
Tesla is soon likely to start manufacturing its most-affordable electric car yet. According to reports, the facility where it is to be manufactured is almost ready to start operations. The electric vehicle, which will cost around $25,000 (roghly converted to ₹18.60 lakh), is expected to go for trial production by the end of this year.
During Tesla’s Battery Day this year, CEO Elon Musk had said, "Tesla will make a compelling $25,000 electric vehicle that is also fully autonomous." Musk had said that Tesla’s new battery cell and battery manufacturing will help keep the cost of the electric car cost half the price it would have otherwise.
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The facility is being set up in Shanghai in China and will be Tesla's first R&D Centre to come up outside its home turf United States. The facility will focus on vehicle design, vehicle software, hardware design engineering, material engineering, powertrain and energy engineering, R&D engineering operation, and vehicle engineering. Tesla is currently looking for people to work at the facility.
Tom Zhu, President of Tesla China, said, "The centre is in Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai, where we are now. We are now building our China R&D centre right here. This R&D centre is also the first Tesla R&D centre outside the United States…In the future, we want to design, develop and produce an original model in China, manufactured here and sold to the whole world. This R&D centre is the starting point of the goal."
The affordable and compact electric car from Tesla began taking form last year when the EV manufacturer had started taking design submissions.
Tesla has been planning to manufacture the compact electric car, most likely to resemble a hatchback, at its Gigafactory in Shanghai. The car will be built initially for the Chinese markets, but may be sold globally later on. This does not rule out the chances of Tesla bringing this electric car to India, where it aims to start operations soon.
Tesla currently is in talks with the Centre to reduce import duty taxes before it starts selling its vehicles in India. According to a Reuters report on Monday, Tesla proposal to reduce the import duties to about 40 per cent is likely to be considered by the government. Tesla is yet to announce its plans to set up a manufacturing facility in India yet, which could keep the costs of its electric cars down.