business

First batch of China-made Tesla sedans arrives at Belgium’s Zeebrugge port

BRUSSELS, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) — After roughly one-month at sea, the vessel carrying the first batch of made-in-China Tesla Model 3 heading for Europe has arrived at Zeebrugge port in Belgium on Thursday evening, according to the Automatic Identification System (AIS) data of the vessel.

Docking at the wharf International Car Operators (ICO) Terminal, the vessel loaded with Tesla vehicles started the unloading process at 2:10 p.m. local time Friday as a first deep blue Model 3 drove off the ship.

A total of some 7,000 sedans were manufactured in Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai, China, before launching its journey to Europe last month. The first batch, about half of the Model 3 vehicles, has arrived, while a second is scheduled to arrive early December, an on-site staff told Xinhua.

Those electric vehicles will then be shipped to countries including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland for sale.

Tao Lin, vice president at Tesla, told Xinhua that the U.S. carmaker gained more confidence in China after getting through the pandemic and benefiting from China’s economic recovery.

Calling it a “milestone” for Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory, Tao said the export of China-made Tesla cars will continue as the plant further expands its production capacity.

She noted that the design of the Gigafactory in Shanghai is fully in line with international standards, which ensures its products are able to satisfy diversified consumption needs from all over the world.

The Shanghai plant had churned out more than 85,000 vehicles with an industrial output of over 21.6 billion yuan (about 3.2 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of September, with its weekly production stabilizing at 3,500 to 4,000 vehicles. Exports of vehicles and batteries from the plant are estimated to reach 450 million U.S. dollars within the year.

Earlier this year, Tesla delivered the first batch of made-in-China Model 3 sedans to the public, one year after the company broke ground on its first overseas plant.

Tesla China announced Friday that it plans to build a supercharger manufacturing factory in Shanghai, which is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2021.

With a planned investment of 42 million yuan (about 6.4 million U.S. dollars), the plant will produce 10,000 superchargers annually, mainly the V3 model, at the initial stage. The company claims that a V3 supercharger can add 250 km of range by charging for 15 minutes.

Currently, Tesla’s superchargers used in China are all imported from the United States.

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