Result bode well for the future of California company.
It's hard to overstate the importance of China for the future of Tesla. Besides being the world's most populous country, it now boasts the biggest passenger vehicle market on the planet. Despite a recent downturn — the first since the Nineties — dealers moved over 2 million units in the month of September alone. With brand image being as important in China as in any other country, it's heartening to see the electric automaker topping the list in a survey about "new energy" (electric) vehicles there.
The Guangzhou New Energy Vehicle Consumption Survey Report collected information from 2,247 citizens (we assume from that city), of which 319 (or 14.2 percent) were owners of electric vehicles. It had several interesting conclusions. When asked which brand offered the best value for money, Tesla edged out the competition. This included domestic automakers BAIC, BYD, Dongfeng Motor (DFMC), and Geely Automobile.
The low range-per-charge of available products, which was said to be between 200 and 400 km (124 and 249 miles), was seen as the biggest drawbacks of new energy vehicles, but that was not the only consideration for Chinese consumers. It seems respondents considered battery safety most important, followed by battery life, then charging speed, and, finally, range. Though it was not mentioned explicitly, we have to imagine price plays an important role as well.
Another important factor when considering electric vehicles was charging stations. Their locations, the cost of charging, and the availability of functioning chargers was seen as an issue. According to Energy Storage China (ESCN), Guangzhou currently has 60,000 electric vehicles plying its streets and vying for space at charging stations.
Though the Model S and Model X are already sold in the country, sales of the top spec Model 3 should begin in the fast-approaching first quarter of next year. Initial prices for that more affordable Tesla have already been announced. Once the Model 3 starts rolling off production lines of Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai in the second half of 2019, we may start to get a real indication of the brand's popularity there. Currently, prices are artificially inflated to help compensate for high tariffs.