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Tesla delivers first electric cars to China

Published time: April 23, 2014 14:18
A Chinese guest poses for a photo by a Tesla "supercharger" on a car handover ceremony in Shanghai as American electric carmaker Tesla Motors delivers their Model S cars to its first buyers in China on April 23, 2014. (AFP Photo)

A Chinese guest poses for a photo by a Tesla "supercharger" on a car handover ceremony in Shanghai as American electric carmaker Tesla Motors delivers their Model S cars to its first buyers in China on April 23, 2014. (AFP Photo)

Tesla Motors has finally made its first delivery of new all-electric and zero emission sedans to customers in China, after receiving the first orders in August last year.

The first delivery consisted of eight vehicles, says the Financial Times (FT).

At some point in the next three or four years we’ll be establishing local manufacturing in China,” Bloomberg quotes Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive.

The company promises it will build a nationwide network of charging stations and service centers as fast as it can.

One of the terms of the California-based company selling its zero-emission vehicles was the availability of car charging equipment installed in the customer’s home or office. The lack of infrastructure for electric vehicles prevented the company from early entrance in the world’s largest market for passenger cars where about 18 million units were sold last year.

We’ve delayed some of the customer deliveries just for a few months in order to ensure that when they got their car they would have a great experience and some of them were a bit upset about that,” the Financial Times quotes Musk. “I met with them earlier today and apologized. . . I think we’ve resolved the issue.”

Despite concerns over the scarcity of Tesla service centers inland the company is proceeding with deliveries.

We will ship them the car even if the service center is pretty far away,” Tesla’s CEO said. “We prefer them to have the car with service that is not going to be as good, rather than wait and have service where we prefer it to be.

To compare, “nine out of ten Tesla Owners in North America live within 100 miles of a Tesla service center,” says the manufacturer’s site banner.

Screenshot from

The average 85 kilowatt-hour battery Tesla Model S in the US costs $71,000 before federal tax credits. The same car in China will costs $118,000 as shipping charges, value-added taxes and import duties increase the price tag.

Tesla hopes to partner with two national electronic grid operators says Musk. However the California-based company is thinking on investing several hundred million dollars in a charging infrastructure in China including its own solar panels.

The main reason for doing this is not to be independent of the grid but to have a charging solution that is sustainable,” says the chief executive.

Meanwhile the appearance of the electric charging stations may increase quickly as industrial air pollution is a major problem and the authorities are urging motorists to turn electric.

Musk says the company is “still in the early stages” in China. According to Chinese law the government enforces a 50 percent foreign ownership cap, requiring cooperation with local producers in order to build the car in China. “We want to hit puberty before we start dating,” Musk said.

Comments (8)


DS 14.06.2014 14:35

A solar dealer in Tallahassee, Florida built a better performing car than Tesla, if speed and quickness is the measure. It's the Tesla battery that does so well. If that Tesla battery drops in price then we can all have electric cars. All the 20%ers anyway. This is giving China the technology. Surprised the US govt is giving the battery tech away. Maybe to tempt China to come back from Russia?


Sean 14.06.2014 03:40

Chris S 23.04.2014 16:19

How ironic that the Chinese government wants people to go electric because of the air pollution but it is the very (coal fired) power plants resposible for a lot of their air pollution!


I have heard this flawed argument before. Coal sales are falling globally as governments seek clean alterntives such as solar. Why do you assume China should be any different?

Don't work for a oil company do you?


New Domain 2014 23.04.2014 16:47

Premium Domain Names for Sale:
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