Tesla Motors Inc ready to ramp charging infrastructure in its largest and fastest growing market – China. As per a top official, Tesla owners will no longer have to worry about charging infrastructure as the electric car maker is planning to increase charging infrastructure in China. Currently, there are around 100 supercharging stations in China, with about 400 superchargers in total.
Ramping up charging network
Robin Ren, Tesla’s vice president for the Asia-Pacific region, said he is happy to declare that charging is now no more an issue for most of their drivers in China. “Today you can drive all the way from Harbin, a city in the north, to Shenzhen which is located in the southernmost part of China with a Tesla car by using our supercharging network,” the executive said.
Lack of charging infrastructure was the biggest roadblock for Tesla Motors Inc ’s continued growth in China. Ren told that apart from the supercharger network, the electric car making giant is working closely with the utility companies on a plan that lets Tesla car owners install electric chargers at parking lots and homes. Their plan has achieved a success rate of 80%, and the automaker has installed over 1,400 destination chargers at office buildings, hotels and shopping malls, he said.
Also, the government policies in China have been “very favorable” towards electric vehicles, added Ren. Electric cars will have a positive effect in decreasing the smog if they replace a larger percentage of internal combustion engine cars running on the street in China. As per the electric car making giant, this is especially relevant since 25% to 40% of smog is caused by the cars on the road.
Tesla – performing well in China
Two years ago, when the US firm first entered the market, this success would not have been predicted, but the automaker has come a long way. During the Q3 2015, the automaker sold 1,345 Model S units in China, said Tesla Motors Inc CEO Elon Musk. This is the carmaker’s strongest showing till date while the automaker sold 3,025 units during the first nine months. Last year, the CEO commented that China would catch up with the US market in 5-6 years.
Such a performance is in stark contrast to its initial performance. China was the only market, where the US firm held excess inventory as the automaker struggled amid slow demand for its Model S, said Musk in April 2015. Later, the electric car maker laid off 30% of its employees in China.
As per Ren, the initial struggles in China was due to the lack of understanding of the company’s technology and lack of brand recognition. “In bigger cities like Beijing and Shanghai, because of our stores and supercharger installations, people have … embraced the Tesla brand,” but for a big market like China, it takes time to educate people about a new product, Ren said.