Elon Musk runs the electric car company Tesla, which is building a new factory in China to make big batteries and grow there.
The company says the Shanghai plant can make 10,000 “Megapack” energy storage units annually.
A Megapack is a big battery that can help keep power grids stable and stop power outages.
Tesla has a factory in California where 10,000 Megapacks are made each year.
Mr. Musk said on Twitter that the new plant would join Tesla’s U.S. factory in China.
Chinese state media Xinhua says construction on the new Megapack plant will start later this year, and battery production will begin in the summer of 2024.
Tesla didn’t answer right away when the BBC asked him for his opinion.
China makes the most batteries, which Tesla can use to make more and sell them for less.
Tensions between Beijing and Washington were getting worse, and the U.S. government was telling American companies to rely less on China.
The Biden administration told U.S. tech companies that get federal money not to build “advanced technology” facilities in China for the next ten years.
The rules were part of a plan to help the U.S. semiconductor industry grow, costing $50 billion ($40 billion).
In August, Mr. Biden signed a law that will give $280 billion to scientific research and high-tech manufacturing. People were afraid that the U.S. would fall behind China in technology, so this was done.
The first Tesla factory outside the U.S. opened in Shanghai in 2019. At the moment, 22,000 cars are made at the plant every week.
Tesla also makes cars near Berlin, Germany, and plans to open a plant in Monterrey, Mexico.
China is the biggest market for cars in the world, but sales have dropped sharply this year because the economy has slowed.
Last month, Tesla cut the prices of models made at its Shanghai plant because it had a lot of unsold cars and had to deal with tough competition in China.
Why is Tesla dropping its prices in the U.S.?
On Thursday, the company’s website showed that prices in the U.S. had been cut by between 2% and 6%. Analysts say this could hurt the company’s profits because it is part of its plan to sell more electric cars.
Since the start of the year, this is the fifth price cut in Tesla’s biggest market. In addition, it comes as the U.S. is about to pass stricter rules that will likely limit tax credits for electric vehicles this month.
The website showed that the automaker cut the prices of both versions of its Model 3 sedan by $1,000 and of its Model Y crossover by $2,000. It also took $5,000 off the Model S and X, which are more expensive.
Since January, the company has said that the stricter U.S. standards will make the $7,500 tax credit for its Model 3 base model with rear-wheel drive less valuable.
Some analysts were worried that more price cuts would hurt Tesla’s high-profit margins, which are the best in the business.
This week, Tesla said that it sent out almost 423,000 cars in the first quarter. Before price drops in the U.S., China, and other markets, this is only a 4% increase from the previous quarter.
This year, Tesla wants to send out 1.8 million cars.
Since the beginning of the year, the EV maker has cut the base price of the Model 3 by 11% and the base price of the Model Y by 20%.
A Tesla owner in California has filed a possible class action lawsuit against the electric car company, saying that it violates its customers’ privacy.
The lawsuit was sent to the Northern District of California District Court on Friday.
It happened after reports on Thursday that some employees used an internal messaging system to share videos and pictures taken by customers’ car cameras between 2019 and 2022. Some photos and videos were private, but anyone could see them.
Henry Yeh, who lives in San Francisco and owns a Model Y, said in his lawsuit that Tesla employees could look at the photos and videos for “tasteless and torturous entertainment” and “the humiliation of those secretly recorded.”
The lawsuit said that what Tesla did was “especially bad” and “highly offensive.”
It said that Yeh had filed the lawsuit “against the automaker on behalf of himself, other people in the same situation, and the general public.” The complaint said that the proposed class would include people who owned or rented a Tesla in the last four years.
Read Also: Tesla cuts prices of EV for the fifth time
Some employees said they could see clients “doing things like doing the laundry and other things for yourself. There were children,” This was told to Reuters by a former employee who wants to stay anonymous.