Tesla has announced plans to open a new “Megafactory” in Shanghai, China, which will manufacture massive batteries. The factory is capable of producing 10,000 “megapacks” per year, which are large lithium battery storage products intended for power stations that can power some 3,600 homes for one hour. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, said that the Shanghai factory will supplement the output of the Megapack factory in California. The factory will break ground later this year and is expected to open next year, according to Chinese state-run news outlet Xinhua. China is a crucial market for Tesla, accounting for a significant portion of the company’s electric vehicle sales. Tesla has faced criticism for its relationship with China, particularly as U.S.-China tensions have worsened. In January of 2022, Tesla faced criticism for opening a showroom in the Xinjiang region of China, where there are reports of human rights abuses against the Uyghur ethnic minority and other minority groups. The Trump and Biden administrations both accused China of committing acts of genocide in the area. Tesla’s move was criticized by some individuals and organizations for being complicit in the Chinese government’s actions in the region.
The decision to open a showroom in the Xinjiang region was also criticized by The Alliance for American Manufacturing and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, among others.