Tesla Motors has finalized pricing for the Model S in China.

Gone is the 60 kWH Version in China - Your Choices Are Limited to 85 kWH and P85 Versions of the Model S

Gone is the 60 kWH Version in China - Your Choices Are Limited to 85 kWH and P85 Versions of the Model S

Before we get down to the numbers, let us first point out that Chinese buyers have only two versions of the Model S to choose from:

  • 85 kWh
  • P85
Absent is the base 60 kWh Model S.  Tesla makes no mention of nixing the 60 kWh version of the Model S in China, nor does the automaker say a word on whether or not the 60 kWh Model S will be offered in China at a later date.  For now, Chinese buyers can choose from only two 85 kWh versions of the Model S.

Tesla Website China

Tesla Website China

Now, we'll move on to price.  Here's the press release/blog post put out by Tesla Motors regarding Model S pricing in China:

A Fair Price

Tesla Model S China

Tesla Model S China

By The Tesla Motors Team

Today we're launching the Model S online design studio in China and announcing the price of the car. For Chinese customers, the price of the Model S with the premium 85 kWh battery pack is 734k CNY.

This pricing structure is something of a risk for Tesla, but we want to do the right thing for Chinese consumers. If we were to follow standard industry practice, we could get away with charging twice as much for the Model S in China as we do in the US. But we're doing things differently, even if it means that some people might look at the price and mistakenly think it must somehow mean the Model S has less value than its competitors.

Given that the Model S won the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year award, received the highest rating of any automobile in history from Consumer Reports (99 out of 100) and achieved the best possible US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rating, that is certainly not the case.

Here's the Price Tag for a Fully Optioned Model S P85

Here's the Price Tag for a Fully Optioned Model S P85

Instead, the price of a Model S in China is much lower than its competitors simply because we want to treat our Chinese customers just as well as we'd treat customers in any other country. That means the price of a Model S in China is the same as the price of a Model S in the US, adding only unavoidable taxes, customs duties and transportation costs. We're not even factoring in the cost of the free-to-use Supercharger network that Tesla will build across China.

734k CNY is a big risk for Tesla. We know it's unconventional. We know we could charge more. We know that our competitors will try to convince Chinese consumers that our relatively lower price tag means the Model S is a lesser car, when the real reason their car costs more is that they make double the profit per car in China compared to the United States or Europe.

But we decided to take a chance anyway.

We care about fairness, and we care about transparency. We care about advancing the cause of electric cars in China. And we care about doing the right thing for our customers – no matter where they live.

- The Tesla Motors Team

Tesla breaks down the 734,000 CNY price as follows:

$81,070 US price

$3,600 Shipping & handling $19,000 Customs duties & taxes $17,700 VAT

734k CNY @ 6.05 exchange rate

That 734,000 CNY figure works out to $121,288 at today's exchange rate.

That may sound expensive, but it's not when you consider that the Chevrolet Volt is currently offered in China at a price of 498,000 RMB, or $82,291 USD at today's exchange rate.

In the US, the 85 kWh version of the Model S is approximately twice the price of the Volt.  That's not the case in China though.

We suspect Tesla will sell an ample amount of Model S sedans in China with this "fair price" being set.

To build /order your own Model S in China, visit Tesla's design studio by clicking this link.

Chevy Volt Ad For China

Chevy Volt Ad For China