Tesla starts flooding Canadian EV market with China-made cars

Tesla is starting to flood the Canadian EV market with China-made electric cars, which are cheaper and could change the market.

When first announcing plans to build cars in China, CEO Elon Musk clearly stated that it would only be to satisfy local demand and that Tesla wouldn’t export vehicles from China. That changed after Gigafactory Shanghai quickly surged to become Tesla’s most productive plant and the world’s largest electric vehicle factory.

It became Tesla’s main export hub – mainly exporting vehicles to Europe, Asia, and Australia. However, it has yet to import cars to North America.

We reported on Tesla launching a new Model Y RWD in Canada that brings the price of the electric SUV down to $59,990 CAD – giving it access to up to $12,000 in incentives.

At the time, many suspected that the new lower-range version would be built using LFP battery cells, like Tesla’s base Model 3. It could mean that the whole car could have been made at Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai in China.

Now the vehicles have started to show up on Tesla’s new inventory vehicle website, and the VIN confirm that they are coming from China:

These vehicles are already in Canada. Those are just the first vehicles being added to the company’s inventory from the first ship from China to Canada.

But according to vessel tracking data (via Tesla Carriers on Twitter), Tesla has shipped another large number of cars from China to Canada due in the coming weeks.

According to info from local Chinese media, Tesla is looking to ship as many as 10,000 vehicles from China to North America this quarter. All these vehicles are likely going to go to Canada since buyers won’t get access to the federal tax credit in the US if the vehicles come from China.

This is a massive number of vehicles, considering only about 30,000 all-electric vehicles get delivered in the country every quarter.

Considering the new Model Y made in China is eligible for the $5,000 federal incentive in Canada, the vehicle could have an important impact if it is available in high volume in the country.