As Model 3 sales continue to climb, Tesla knows more charging points are needed.
With Tesla's made-in-China Model 3 sales doing well considering the COVID-19 crisis, Tesla realizes they need to expand the Supercharger network in China, and expand it they will. According to the Global Times, Tesla is planning an enormous Supercharger expansion in China.
Tesla currently has about 2,500 Superchargers throughout China, and plans to add 4,000 more by the end of 2020, pushing the total number of Superchargers to a whopping 6,500. That's an amazing goal considering that it's taken the automaker about 5 years to install the roughly 2,500 existing superchargers.
Public charging infrastructure is important everywhere, but it may even be a little more important in China. That's because the vast majority of people in China live in large apartment complexes, and most of those do not have access to EV charging accommodations at home. Therefore, most EV owners rely entirely on public charging infrastructure, not home charging, which is the exact opposite of how it is in the US.
“Tesla’s move shows that the company places great hope in the Chinese market, as apparently the company is not only building the charging stations for its existing customers, but also for future potential customers,” -Wu Shuocheng, an independent automobile analyst, told the Global Times
Therefore, it's imperative that Tesla has a robust Supercharger network to sell their cars. NIO, a Tesla rival in China has taken another approach to this issue and has been setting up battery swap stations in China to alleviate potential customer's concerns about having their battery charged.
Nio recently reported they completed their 500,000 battery swap. I can say I personally account for two of those swaps, as I used their battery swap service twice while I was in Beijing with the automaker in December. The fact that NIO has gone to such lengths to set up the battery swap service in China illustrates just how vital public charging infrastructure is to EV sales in the country.
Tesla recently announced they were lowering the price of the made in China SR+ Model 3, so that the vehicle will qualify for new energy vehicle (NEV) state subsidies. Tesla reduced the price from ¥303,550 ($42,981.75) to ¥291,800 ($41,317.98). In doing so, the Model 3 standard range plus will qualify for a ¥20,250 ($2,867.34) government rebate.
Tesla also just began delivering made-in-China long-range RWD Model 3's. The list price of the RWD long-range Model 3 starts at ¥366,550 ($51,425.40) and comes down to ¥339,050 ($47,567.27) after incentives.
Tesla doesn't seem to be slowing down at all, even with the world in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new, aggressive plan to nearly triple the number of Superchargers throughout the country will most certainly help to instill confidence in customers, which, in turn, will likely drive even more sales.