Tesla is bullish on the electric vehicle market in China. It recognizes that many potential customers worry about not being able to charge their cars when they need to, so it has embarked on an aggressive program to expand its Supercharger network in that country.
According to a report by Global Times, the company announced at a press conference in China this week it will install 4000 new Superchargers in China before the end of this year. Tesla currently has about 2,500 Supercharges installed in the country.
“So far, the number of NEV chargers in China, including the ones built by Tesla and the State Grid, are still far from enough to dispel people’s worries about charging inconvenience, but the anxiety has and will gradually ease with the construction of China’s NEV supporting facilities,” Wu Shuocheng, an independent car analyst, tells Global Times.
“Tesla’s move shows that the company places great hope in the Chinese market, as apparently the company is not only building the charging stations for its existing customers, but also for future potential customers,” he added.
At the same press conference, Tesla officials said the company plans to expand charging installations internationally so Tesla owners can drive from Beijing to London if they choose.
Tesla is all in on the Chinese market. It is the only EV manufacturer to have built its own charging network. There are now Superchargers in 150 Chinese cities. There are also rumors that it is thinking of expanding its factory in Shanghai to boost its production capability to meet the anticipated demand for its cars.
In April, 72,000 new energy vehicles were sold in China (the official definition of new energy vehicle include plug-in hybrids). That’s up nearly 10% over March but down 26.5% from the same month last year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Much more detail is provided in our monthly China EV sales reports.
Manufacturing shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic and a series of conflicting policy directives regarding EV incentives from the central government have led to a precipitous drop in NEV sales. But Tesla has weathered all the storms and emerged with a new determination to be a leader in the Chinese electric vehicle market. The Model 3 is the top selling NEV in China so far this year. The dramatic expansion of its Supercharger network should help keep that momentum going.