E-car firm Tesla pow­ers ahead with new­Model X

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By DUXIAOYING dux­i­aoy­ing1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

US elec­tric-car maker Tesla Mo­tors Inc plans to de­liver in ad­vance its Model X to Chi­nese cus­tomers at the end of the month, in­stead of the first quar­ter of 2017, a se­nior Tesla of­fi­cial told China Daily on Wed­nes­day.

The of­fi­cial said that the cus­tomers of the­mod­el­will be able to choose its op­tional ac­ces­sories fromWed­nes­day.

The e-car maker is in­creas­ing its pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity at full stretch. “Stim­u­lated by the im­pres­sive num­ber of or­ders ofModel 3, we are now mak­ing a new ca­pac­ity plan,” said Robin Ren, vice-pres­i­dent of Tesla and pres­i­dent of its Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

Or­ders for Tesla’s latest Model 3 reached 374,000 glob­ally by the end of April, and ac­cord­ing to Ren, “many of them are from Chi­nese cus­tomers”.

Ren said Tesla adopts a “global pric­ing” pol­icy, so it tries to in­tro­duce the same re­tail price world­wide. But con­sid­er­ing tar­iffs and the ex­change rate, the price of Model 3 in China would be about 400,000 yuan ($60,720), in­stead of $35,000 in theUnited States, he said.

On Wed­nes­day, the com­pany signed a con­tract with the Bei­jing mu­nic­i­pal govern­ment, to lo­cate its op­er­a­tional head­quar­ters in the city, where its sales head­quar­ters have been since the car­maker en­tered theChi­nese mar­ket in 2014.

Tesla also par­tic­i­pated at the Bei­jing in­ter­na­tional fair for trade in ser­vices fromMay 28 to June 1. It was the first time the com­pany took part in such an event.

“Par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fair was a new move for Tesla. We hoped the fair could of­fer a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to reach our po­ten­tial cus­tomers, and a new plat­form to broad­cast the con­cept of elec­tric cars,” Ren said.

China has be­come Tesla’s sec­ond-largest mar­ket af­ter the US, with a more than 300 per­cent an­nual growth rate.

Zhu Xiao­tong, gen­eral man­ager of Tesla China, said the­com­pany plans to in­crease the num­ber of its out­lets in China from the cur­rent 17 to about 30 by the end of the year.

Zhu said the com­pany is speed­ing up the roll­out of its charg­ing point net­work in China. The 100th “su­per charg­ing sta­tion” will be lo­cated in Bei­jing this year.

Tesla also plans to build a fac­tory in China by the end of 2018. Sev­eral Chi­nese me­dia out­lets re­ported last month that there have been some changes in plans, how­ever.

Ren clar­i­fied that Tesla is still plan­ning to build the fac­tory, but re­fused to give any more in­for­ma­tion.

Tesla de­liv­ered 14,820 cars glob­ally in the first quar­ter, up about 50 per­cent year-onyear. It aims to de­liver 80,000 to 90,000 cars in­ter­na­tion­ally this year.

Re­cently, fol­low­ing con­cerns about the lim­its of bat­tery tech­nol­ogy, someChi­nese elec­tric-car mak­ers such as

We hoped the fair could of­fer a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to reach our po­ten­tial cus­tomers, and a new plat­form to broad­cast the con­cept of elec­tric cars.”

Chery Au­to­mo­bile Co plan to pro­duce pure elec­tric cars for short ranges. As for long range cars, elec­tric plus range ex­ten­ders (pow­ered by petrol or fuel cells) will be used.

Ren said Tesla would re­main a maker of pure elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

“Our lithium-ion bat­tery tech­nol­ogy is the best in the world. From a busi­ness per­spec­tive, we will al­ways fol­low the route,” he said.

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