The drought in domestic deliveries of Tesla Model 3s in China has come to an end. According to a recent announcement on Chinese social media by the electric vehicle manufacturer, customer deliveries of the upgraded Tesla Model 3, known as Project Highland in the EV community, have now commenced.
Tesla China's statement on Weibo highlighted several enhancements in the new Model 3, ranging from integrated taillights and new "light wing headlights" in the exterior to the addition of RGB ambient lighting and ventilated seats in the interior. The announcement also emphasized that the updated Model 3 incorporates a new suspension system aimed at enhancing the vehicle's comfort.
The upgraded Model 3 was introduced in China on September 1. Initially, the vehicle was available for pre-sales in the country, and it wasn't until October 19 that formal sales of the new Model 3 began in China. Despite the vehicle being officially open for orders, local customer deliveries of the revamped all-electric sedan were temporarily on hold. This pause has now ended with Tesla's announcement on Weibo.
Tesla China currently offers two versions of the upgraded Model 3 — the base Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) variant starting at RMB 259,900 (approximately $35,500) and the Dual Motor All Wheel Drive (AWD) variant starting at RMB 295,900 (about $40,400). Prior to the Highland update, the Model 3 in China started at RMB 231,900 (about $31,700) for the RWD version. Additionally, a Performance variant was available at RMB 331,900 (about $45,300).
A document released by the China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology provided some insights into the enhanced all-electric sedan. This included the battery pack sizes for the new Model 3, which were stated as 60 kWh for the RWD variant and 78.4 kWh for the Dual Motor AWD. Tesla China's order page for the upgraded Model 3 also indicates an estimated delivery time of 6-9 weeks for new orders of the vehicle.
Presently, the upgraded Tesla Model 3 is exclusively manufactured at Gigafactory Shanghai, Tesla's largest production facility with the highest output, serving as the primary hub for vehicle exports. In Tesla's Q3 2023 Update Letter, Giga Shanghai was noted to have an estimated annual capacity of over 950,000 vehicles, signifying a significant potential for producing Model 3 sedans both for the domestic Chinese market and international markets.