Israelis to receive their Teslas earlier than expected and they will be made in China
Buyers received notices that their cars may be delivered a month sooner than they thought; Chinese Model 3 vehicles feature new Lithium-iron batteries
The messages sent to the Israeli customers, which included the vehicle’s chassis number, revealed that while the first shipment of Tesla vehicles that were sent to Israel was produced in the company’s Fremont, California plant, the next one will be arriving from its Shanghai facility.
The Chinese factory has been supplying Model 3s for the European market for several months, and Tesla Israel operates under Tesla Europe. The model made in China is slightly different from that made in the U.S., in terms of cabin design, but the differences are more pronounced when it comes to the battery.
The Chinese model is equipped with Tesla’s new generation of lithium-iron-phosphate batteries that are cheaper to produce, have a longer lifespan, and do not require the use of cobalt or nickel, which are in high demand and are considered to be more polluting. Cobalt mines operate mainly in China and Africa and sometimes employ child labor.
The new batteries are also better suited to hot weather, but according to independent tests conducted on them in Europe, they are more sensitive to cold weather, are 100 kilograms heavier, take longer to charge, and lose more of their charging capacity compared to the cobalt version.
Tesla Israel confirmed that vehicles from the next shipment will be delivered in May, but noted that delivery would extend into June. The company refused to address the sourcing change: “We do not detail which plant provides the vehicles to our customers. The Model 3 provides all customers with the same experience,” the company’s spokesperson said.
Israeli law requires car manufacturers to provide customers with information on their vehicle’s country of origin, a detail that also appears in the vehicle license.