Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 just passed another major milestone. Chinese media outlets are reporting that the site near Shanghai has passed an inspection of Phase 1. Officials and inspectors from the Lingang District Construction Project Management Service met with Tesla China President Zhu Xiaolu last week about the project. They also evaluated every area of the Gigafactory that has been built so far and granted their official acceptance of the project.
Gigafactory 3 passes inspection
It will still be a while before Tesla can start producing the Model 3 in China, but the acceptance of the Phase 1 construction marks a critical step in the process. According to Teslarati, production could begin as soon as other key parts of the project like the southwest substation are ready to be activated. The project has been moving swiftly. The EV maker first broke ground on it in January, and the main production facility is already finished and has passed inspection.
Electrek reported earlier this week that Tesla already appears to be preparing an expansion for Gigafactory 3 ahead of the beginning of production. Leaked photos showed that work inside the building to set up production has been moving along rapidly. However, a new drone video posted on YouTube by Jason Yang suggests an expansion outside the main building is already underway. The video shows that workers have been grading additional land right next to the building and digging, apparently to lay more foundations.
If an expansion is in the works, it’s a surprise because Tesla hasn’t officially announced plans to expand at Gigafactory 3 yet. The rendering the EV maker revealed when it showed off the Model Y earlier this year looks like the building looks now, so it’s unclear what the expansion might be used for. According to Electrek, CEO Elon Musk originally wanted to include space for battery production inside the facility, but they had to delay that part to try to get ahead of the tariffs associated with the trade war between China and the U.S. Thus, it’s possible the expansion could be for battery production.
Tesla rolls out V10 update in China
Also this week, Tesla has begun pushing out its V10 software update to Early Access Program members. Tesla fans have been posting about the roll-out on social media. CleanTechnica reviewed the software earlier this week and described the new features it brings to Tesla vehicles. The tech blog categorizes the changes into two categories: touchscreen visualizations and Autopilot.
Automatic Lane Change has new stronger visualizations in V10, and the automatic move appears to happen more smoothly than it did previously. Autopilot acceleration has also improved, speeding up the acceleration so it seems more natural and doesn’t require the driver to step on the gas pedal to get to a decent speed along with traffic.
Other new features in V10 include Tesla Theater, which takes the infotainment experience to a whole new level. The software also adds an Advanced Summon feature.