Where Is the Tesla Model 3 Made?

The Tesla Model 3 has been shaking up the EV market with long-range offerings and high-performance sprinters. There’s a Model 3 for most electric vehicle shoppers, from a single-motor entry-level model to a distance cruiser promising around 358 miles of electric range. However, to fill the demand, Tesla has to use the might of its sprawling factories. So, where is the Tesla Model 3 made? 

Where is the Tesla Model 3 made?

Tesla builds the Model 3 at its 5.3 million square foot factory in Fremont, California. The EV manufacturer acquired the plant after General Motors (GM) and Toyota ran the space from 1962 to 2009. Now, Tesla maintains its California manufacturing ecosystem focusing on the Model S, Model 3, and Model X. 

The Fremont, California factory is where the Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle is made.
Tesla’s Fremont Factory car park | Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Are Tesla Model 3s made in China?

While the Model 3 has a factory home in the United States, the automaker also produces the EVs in its Gigafactory in Shanghai, China. The automaker makes the little electric vehicle in Shanghai for Chinese domestic use, as well as for export to markets like Australia. However, while the company’s founder, Elon Musk, has a better-than-average relationship with the Chinese government, it hasn’t stopped the government from banning Teslas in parts of the country over spying concerns

What’s the difference between US-made and Chinese-made Model 3s?

The chief difference between a US-made Model 3 and a Chinese-made Model 3 is the battery technology. According to EV Central, the American vehicles use lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA), while the Chinese battery technology uses lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP). However, Tesla made this move deliberately; LFP batteries perform without nickel and cobalt, two of the most expensive battery materials. Still, the trade-off for cost-effectiveness is less charge retention per pound. 

The Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle is built in both the United States and China.
Model 3 on the coast | Martin Katler, Unsplash

Does Tesla import any of the Chinese-made Model 3s to the United States?

Tesla manufactures the Model 3s for sale in the United States at the massive Tesla factory in Fremont, California. In fact, both the Model 3 and Model Y topped the Cars.com American-Made Index for the ‘most-American’ cars. The electric automaker builds the vehicles in Texas and California. Also, to complete the list, EVs must use as much American material as possible.  

Where does Tesla build its other cars? 

The US-domestic market Teslas are all made in the United States, with the largest factories being Fremont, California, and Austin, Texas. The Model Y and eventually the Cybertruck have a home at the Texas Gigafactory. Tesla manufactures the Model S, 3, and X at the factory in Fremont, California. Furthermore, the automaker has battery and technology centers throughout the United States, like Nevada and New York.

Tesla builds its Model 3 electric vehicle at the Fremont, California location.
The Fremont Factory | Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

How many factories does Tesla have?

Tesla operates four factories worldwide devoted to producing EVs. In addition to its accomplished Fremont location, Tesla operates its new Gigafactory in Austin, Texas. For Tesla vehicles in foreign markets, the automaker maintains two Gigafactories in other countries. First, Tesla builds Model Ys at the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg in Germany. Also, to cater to the Asian market, the automaker runs its Gigafactory in Shanghai, China. 

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