Elon Musk breaks ground on the first Tesla factory outside the U.S.

It’s really happening for Tesla in China, with company boss Elon Musk breaking ground at a new manufacturing plant in Shanghai on Monday, January 7 — its first such facility outside of the U.S.

The company’s third so-called “Gigafactory” will assemble Tesla’s mass-market electric Model 3 vehicle, as well as the upcoming Model Y, as part of its first serious push into the world’s biggest — and fastest-growing — market for electric cars. The facility is scheduled to begin production of the Model 3 toward the end of the year, with the Model Y following soon after.

“China is becoming the global leader in electric vehicle adoption, and it is a market that is critical to Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” Musk said in a statement. “Gigafactory 3 is another example of Tesla’s commitment to the China market.”

The Tesla CEO was in China to break ground on the new factory. Photos (below) showed the Tesla CEO alongside various local officials, among them Shanghai mayor Ying Yong. Shanghai’s local government described Tesla’s arrival as the largest foreign manufacturing project in the city’s history.

In a series of tweets posted shortly before the event, Musk said Gigafactory 3 will produce “affordable versions” of the Model 3 for the Chinese market. The current base price of the Model 3 for U.S. customers is $35,000.

Tesla’s more expensive Model S and X vehicles, as well as higher-cost versions of the 3 and Y, will continue to be built in the U.S. and exported to China and other markets, Musk said.

If the trade war between the U.S. and China continues, manufacturing vehicles in the Asian nation will enable Tesla to reduce costs from tariffs, as well as ocean transport — vital if the company is to have any chance of taking on Chinese makers of electric cars. And with China planning to phase out gas and diesel vehicles as part of efforts to clean up its polluted cities, the market is a lucrative one for those with the most attractive offerings.

Talk of Tesla setting up shop in China had been doing the rounds for several years, with an agreement finally struck between the company and Shanghai officials in the summer of 2018.

For an interesting look at how a Tesla Model 3 is put together, check out this time-lapse showing the vehicle being assembled from start to finish. The process comprises 40 different steps that are accomplished in 90 minutes, though the video will only take up 48 seconds of your time.

Smart Home

The Instant Pot Lux is a gateway drug into the pleasures of pressure cooking

The 3-quart Instant Pot Lux is one of the most affordable Instant Pots you can buy. Is it still a solid pressure cooker? Here are our thoughts on the Instant Pot Lux, a great IP baseline model.
Movies & TV

You can get a screaming deal on LG OLED TVs just in time for the Super Bowl

LG is offering steep discounts on its critically acclaimed OLED TV models just in time for the Super Bowl, letting discerning viewers watch their favorite athletes with higher picture quality than ever.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.
Cars

Cadillac is finally ready to take on Tesla with its own electric car

At the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, Cadillac announced plans for its first electric car. The unnamed model will be a crossover, based on a new platform to be shared with other General Motors brands.
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Cars

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.