Tesla is reportedly moving another load of its China-made EVs to North America. This marks the second shipment across the ocean that will eventually make its way to Canada.
Back in November 2022, Reuters reported that Tesla was considering shipping electric cars from China to the US, which likely had many people upset. When Tesla first opened its Giga Shanghai, there was speculation it would eventually become the company’s most successful factory and end up shipping China-made cars to our shores.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk was quick to respond to a tweet from Reuters about the November article, calling it “False.”
False in November 2022 doesn’t necessarily mean false today, but it would come as a surprise if Tesla was suddenly delivering China-made EVs in the US. However, it seems Canada is fair game, as Musk didn’t actually respond to any tweet about Tesla shipping its EVs from China to Canada.
Tesla’s Giga Shanghai produces the Model 3 and ModelY for the domestic market, but it’s also the company’s primary export hub. It ships EVs to Europe – even though there’s now a Tesla factory in Germany – and many other parts of the world that don’t have Tesla factories, so perhaps Canada is now joining the list.
As Tesla’s German factory ramps up, and it potentially builds a second European factory, it may not need to rely so much on Giga Shanghai for shipments to the continent. Giga Texas is also ramping up, and Tesla will eventually open a new car factory in Mexico, so using the China factory for exports to North America could be temporary. It seems it would make the most sense if Tesla got to a place where it could rely on China-made exports to all other areas that don’t (and may never) have Tesla factories.
At any rate, Reuters reported again in April 2023 that Tesla’s China-made EVs were coming to the US, and it was partially correct. The shipment did arrive at a port in Washington State. However, the cars were bound for Canada.
Fast-forward to the present, and a similar logistics report reveals that a ship loaded with Tesla EVs already departed from Shanghai and is headed to Canada.
It wouldn’t really make sense at this point for Tesla to sell China-made EVs in the US thanks to the new US federal EV tax credit that’s part of the Inflation Reduction Act. However, this may also mean that the US EV maker doesn’t want to sell those cars in Canada since they qualify for a credit on our shores.
Fortunately for EV buyers in Canada, its incentive program doesn’t have rules that mandate local production, so the cars can come from anywhere.