In the wake of rumours on Chinese social media that Tesla will be exporting vehicles from their Gigafactory 3 complex in Shanghai (also known as Giga Shanghai), Bloomberg have confirmed that the factory will start doing just that, reporting that Giga Shanghai will start exporting vehicles for sale in countries across Europe and Asia, including Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. The factory is rumoured to begin shipping out vehicles in late 2020 or early 2021, with some uncertainty as to the exact scheduling.

This news runs contrary to the plan announced by Elon Musk during the facility’s construction in 2019, in which it was stated that Giga Shanghai would be making cheaper versions of the Model 3 and Model Y vehicles sold by Tesla for the Greater China region, and even suggested that demand would require the building of further factories in the future.

However, evidence seems to indicate that the Giga Shanghai facility is not as profitable as early predictions would suggest. Despite being able to make approximately 17,000 vehicles a month, sales in August were only around 11,800, likely leading to the decision to distribute vehicles across a wider region to make up for the shortfall of sales. 

Still, this will mean that less-expensive versions of the Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV will soon be available across much of the world, potentially allowing customers who otherwise would’ve been unavailable to afford electric vehicles to invest in more climate-friendly transportation (assuming that the shipping costs don’t increase the price too significantly). By making electric transportation more competitive across a larger space, Tesla could do a lot to expand the use of such vehicles and gain a larger market share in the process. In Europe in particular, Tesla’s sales still remain relatively small (only 0.5 percent in Germany, the continent’s biggest auto market), making it all the more important that they utilize this surplus effectively if they wish to expand their European business in the future.