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Elon Musk finalises Tesla factory deal in Shanghai

The electric car giant is motoring on with plans for China expansion

Photograph: Matt Henry via Unsplash
Commercial space exploration magnate and 'not-a-flamethrower' dealer Elon Musk has been a busy guy of late. Between sending kid-sized submarines to Thailand and dating Grimes, he was in Shanghai yesterday (Tuesday 10 July) to settle a deal to build a Tesla factory in Shanghai – a rare coup for a foreign car manufacturer.

The factory will be located in Nanhui, a southern sub-city district of Shanghai located towards the end of Line 16. No word yet on when the factory will be operational, but, according to The Guardian, Musk projects that the first car will roll off the production line about two years after construction begins. Then, after two to three more years, the factory will produce 500,000 cars a year.

The agreement, which has been in the works for a while now, should come as a welcome boost to both Tesla's business in China and China's own green energy ventures. The deal may notably allow Tesla to avoid some of the costly tariffs the Chinese government has slapped on foreign automobile imports and keep its car prices (well, relatively) down. Also, it's very likely that a Tesla factory will help China reach its goal of using only electric vehicles by 2030.

As the market for electric cars continues to grow in China, expect to see more Teslas jostling for attention with the Lambos and Porsches in Xintiandi and along The Bund. We're still not sure where anyone will have room to open those gull-wing doors without decapitating a cyclist, but anything that might help with Shanghai's air pollution is a plus in our book.

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