Overnight a twitter user @bentv_sh who regularly posts updates from the Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory, has published a photo which shows a batch of RHD Model 3s ready for delivery.
Until now all the vehicles produced at Shanghai have been LHD, to service the Chinese market. Given the proximity of Shanghai to Australia, sourcing our Model 3s from China, rather than America would make lots of sense, given the reduce shipping costs.
RHD markets in the region include Australia, New Zealand and Japan, so while we don’t know for sure where these are being sent, it is at least possible that Australia starts to see our Model 3s being sent from China.
With closer proximity to the production location and therefore reduced shipping costs, I’d hope we see a reduced cost reflected in the purchase price. This should also have a reduced time on delivery.
At least one of my referrals is still waiting for a Model 3, ordered back on the 24th of October and another on the 30th. The Tesla website currently estimates 9-12 weeks, which means even if you’re order today, you’re in for a bit of a wait.
If our Model 3s start coming from Shanghai, there’s a few other implications of that change. Firstly, we’ve seen the made-in-china Model 3s have the new updated interior design with wood finish wraps on to the door panel, where as the Freemont version currently does not.
MIC Model 3s are also shipping with the cheaper lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery. This costs less, so another potential cost saving we hope would be passed on to consumers, to make the Model 3 more affordable to more Australians. This chemistry also has different charging properties and doesn’t mind going to 100% regularly.
We’ll wait for confirmation from Tesla, or a customer to confirm the Shanghai-made Model 3 in Australia.