Tesla China President Tom Zhu revealed new information about the automakers plans in both China and globally in a recent interview with Chinese media.
Tesla China R&D Center
CEO Elon Musk first mentioned a dedicated Research & Design (R&D) Center in China when he was in the country for the first deliveries of the Model 3 last year. According to Zhu, construction on the new R&D Center is already underway. It will be located in Lingang, the same area as Giga Shanghai. He also noted the team working at the new site will cover all areas from vehicle design to testing.
“The center is in the Tesla Lingang Gigafactory, where we are now. We are now building our China R&D center right here. This R&D center is also the first Tesla R&D center outside the United States. The research and development center has all necessary disciplines, covering vehicle design, vehicle engineering, vehicle development, and vehicle testing.”
Zhu added that he expects the facility to be “up and running” by the middle of 2021.
Tesla $25K car
It is well known that Tesla is wanting to sell a cheaper electric car with a price tag around $25,000 USD. According to Zhu, the Chinese R&D Center will design, develop, and produce an all-new vehicle, which is expected to be this new EV. He also added the vehicle won’t only be for China, but will be sold globally as well.
“We will provide very good conditions to facilitate our R&D engineers working towards our ultimate goal. The ultimate goal has been mentioned on many public occasions. In the future, we want to design, develop and produce an original model in China. It is manufactured here and sold to the whole world. This R&D center is the starting point of the goal.”
The Tesla executive also provided other details about the automaker’s operations in China. An original goal was to have Giga Shanghai produce vehicles with 100% locally sourced parts. While they’re not there yet, Zhu said he hopes to achieve this goal by the end of 2021.
You can watch the full interview with subtitles below.