Tesla to launch supercharger station in China's Greater Bay Area
published : 11 Dec 2020 at 18:06
writer: South China Morning Post
American car maker Tesla is launching its first supercharger station in the city of Zhongshan with the hope of attracting a growing number of electric vehicle (EV) drivers in the Greater Bay Area development zone.
The station, which is expected to be put into use in January, will shorten the charging time for every 250 kilometre drive by more than half to 15 minutes, according to Centenary United, a car services provider that has partnered with Tesla to build the facility.
"The station could attract drivers in a 100km radius, and even drivers in Guangzhou could come to charge their cars," said Law Hau-kit, the chief executive of Centenary United, which operates 16 4S car showrooms in the city. "Electric cars will certainly be the future of the market."
The launch of the supercharger station follows the opening of Tesla's first experience centre in the city this month. The centre, which will allow drivers to get a feel of the cars and will offer after services, is expected to boost the region's growing EV market.
Zhongshan, the birthplace of Sun Yat-sen, is also revamping itself into the region's transport hub, with several major projects being built, including a sea crossing that will link the city with Shenzhen.
Developing the EV industry is among policy priorities laid out in Beijing's development blueprint for the bay area, an 11-city urban cluster around the Pearl River Delta that it wants to transform into an engine of China's economy.
A number of domestic players have been expanding quickly in the area in recent years. New York-listed Xpeng, for example, has been manufacturing its P7 mid-sized electric cars at a newly built factory in the nearby city of Zhaoqing since early this year. It aims to produce 150,000 cars a year at the facility.
The number of Tesla owners in Zhongshan, which sits at the geographical centre of the bay area, is likely to grow to more than 3,000 by the end of 2021 from 1,000 currently, Law said. In five years, customers who own an electric car could make up a tenth of all of Centenary United's clientele, up from less than 2% currently, he added.
Across China, a strong interest in electric cars is leading a rebound in the domestic car market. The wholesale number of new energy vehicles, which covers EVs, surged by 129% to 180,000 units in November from the same period last year, according to industry body China Passenger Car Association.
"We want to develop our EV business ahead of the broader market … because EVs will take over market share from traditional cars in the future," Law said.