Tesla has considered plans for exporting made-in-China electric vehicles to the United States and Canada, two people with knowledge of the planning told Reuters, a step that would connect its largest factory to North America, its largest market.
Tesla has been evaluating whether Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles made in Gigafactory Shanghai could be sold in North America as soon as next year, according to the people, who declined to be named because the process was confidential.
Tesla’s evaluation has included consideration of whether parts made by Tesla’s China-based suppliers would be compliant with regulations in the United States and Canada, they said.
The Shanghai plant has been working toward an initial plan for a small-batch test run of production of vehicles in the first quarter of 2023 that would be compliant with North American standards for potential export, one of the people said.
After Reuters published its article on Friday, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, in a Twitter post, said “False” without elaborating. Contacted by Reuters, representatives of Austin, Texas-based Tesla did not comment or clarify Musk’s remark. A Tesla representative in China responded with a screenshot of Musk’s denial.
Reuters could not determine if Musk’s comment would affect the feasibility study Tesla had begun on exports from China to the United States and Canada, or the implementation of the plan.