Tesla Motors Inc. chief executive Elon Musk is expecting to build cars in China in the next three to four years. Musk said a Geekpark Conference in Beijing that Tesla is building a “big” network of battery-charging stations in China, including superchargers in the capital and Shanghai. Musk is in China to mark the beginning of Model S deliveries in the country.
Musk stated that they consider China as very important to the future of Tesla, adding that the carmaker will make a big investment in the country in terms of charging infrastructure.
By building cars in China, Tesla would be able to sell EVs at lower prices as it could avoid the country’s 25 percent import tariff. Tesla is trying to sell as many vehicles in China as in the United States by as early as 2015.
Tesla’s entry into China might entice people to buy electric cars – something that the Chinese government has struggled to accomplish. Finbarr O’Neill, president of J.D. Power & Associates, remarked that Tesla can sell “quite a few” EVs in China, but noted that there is a limit to every market.
The Model S fitted with an 85 kWh battery will have a starting price of CHY734,000 ($118,000) in China – much higher than its $71,000 tag in the United States before federal tax credits – no thanks to shipping charges, value-added taxes and import duties.
Tesla has stated it wants the Model S to qualify for China’s electric-car subsidies to help offset extra costs. Deliveries in China starts after Tesla started taking orders since August 2013 and opened an 8,600-sq-ft store in a shopping mall Beijing late last year to feature its offerings.