Revolution: Tesla Model 3 Invading Europe, & Chinese Gigafactory Rising In 2019

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Tesla has initiated a clear and definite EV revolution in the United States and Canada. In Canada, 8% of new car sales are now electric car sales, in large part Tesla Model 3 sales. In the US, the Tesla Model 3 has absolutely crushed and embarrassed its “competitors” in the midsize luxury car market, or even the small + midsize luxury car market. It is also one of the top selling cars — of any class — in the land of stars and stripes.

Now, the revolution is headed to Europe and China.

The Model 3 will make it into European customer hands in February and Chinese customer hands in March or April. European and Chinese reservation holders have recently been invited to configure their cars, and Tesla Model 3 showroom cars have been popping into Tesla stores in countries across Europe, spinning above the street on their way there (see video above).

People are excited.

Combining the US and Canada, you get a population of 362.41 million. The population of Europe is 741.4 million. That’s a lot more potential Model 3 buyers.

Also, Europeans typically buy smaller cars than Americans. The Model 3 is smaller than the Model S and Model X, which many Europeans consider to be too big for narrow streets and parking spaces on the Old Continent. In other words, expect European Tesla Model 3 sales to be strong.

Tesla + China = Red Electric Revolution

Jumping over to China, we’ve got even more exciting news this week. As mentioned earlier today (er … yesterday), construction is about to commence on Tesla’s Chinese Gigafactory (Gigafactory 3). Model 3 production could actually begin in the 2nd half of 2019, or 2020 at the latest. There’s broad expectation now that cars will be rolling out of the factory in large volumes in 2020. That will mean lower prices for Chinese buyers, higher global production capacity for the Model 3, and potentially even initial production of the Model Y for a market that will gobble it up.

Approximately 23 hours ago, Reuters reported, “Tesla Inc has opened a tender process to build its Shanghai Gigafactory and at least one contractor has started buying materials, according to sources and documents reviewed by Reuters, the clearest indication that construction is imminent. … Tesla, led by billionaire Chief Executive Elon Musk, has begun seeking bids from companies looking to build the plant, according to two people with knowledge of the matter and a construction document on an official local bidding platform.”

“Local media outlet noted that the factory is about to begin construction, particularly since the 864,885-square meter plot of land in the Lingang Industrial Zone has been leveled,” Teslarati adds. “In a post on its official WeChat account, the Shanghai government further indicated that Mayor Ying Yong and Vice Mayor Wu Qing have met with Tesla’s leaders in China while checking the company’s new vehicles like the Model 3. During their visit, the Shanghai officials reportedly encouraged parties involved in the project to expedite the construction of Gigafactory 3 even more.”

It’s anyone’s guess what Model 3 demand could be in China and Europe (and North America for that matter). Once initial reservation holders have been served, word of mouth about the Model 3 has grown a bit, and production is flowing strongly on three continents, how many new customers will get online and order a Model 3 each year?

Throwing my hat in the ring with a public forecast, I’ll put my money (figuratively) on 300K in the US (home field advantage), 300K in Europe (bigger market, but national brand loyalty remains), and 300K in China (biggest market, but stronger home-field advantage for true Chinese companies) in 2020. What’s your guess?

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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