Tesla Installed its 7,000th Supercharger in China This Month as it Eyes Expansion in the World's Biggest Auto Market
【Summary】Access to convenient charging is one of barriers to the widespread adoption of EVs around the globe. So segment leader Tesla continues to build out its Supercharger network in China, which is the world’s biggest auto market. As of Aug 14, Tesla’s Supercharger network in China grew to include 7,000 chargers.
Access to convenient charging is one of barriers to the widespread adoption of EVs around the globe. So segment leader Tesla continues to build out its Supercharger network in China, which is the world's biggest auto market. Expanding in the China market is an important for Tesla to remain profitable.
As of Aug 14, Tesla's Supercharger network in China grew to include 7,000 chargers, Chinese new outlet Gasgoo reported. Tesla also announced the milestone on its Weibo account, a social media platform in China that's similar to Twitter.
During the month of August, Tesla rolled out its new V3 Superchargers in the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Tianjin, Yantai, Heze, Tengzhou, Lvliang, Guangzhou, Foshan, and Zhaoqing, according to Gasgoo.
The 7,000th charger installation was also one of Tesla's new V3 Superchargers, which can charge at a rate of 250kW, compared to 120kW for Tesla's V2 version. Tesla's V3 Superchargers and can add 155 miles of range to a Tesla vehicle in just 15 minutes.
Tesla is racing to build out its charging network for current and future customers in China. In March, Tesla said it had deployed its 6,000th Supercharger in China and operated more than 760 Supercharger stations in over 300 cities in the country. The company has since added 1,000 more.
The Tesla Superchargers were originally manufactured in New York then shipped to China. But in February, Tesla completed construction of its Supercharger factory near its vehicle manufacturing plant in Shanghai. The factory has an annual output of 10,000 chargers per year. The factory was up and running quickly. Construction began in August of last year.
The 54,000 square foot factory is mainly producing the more powerful V3 chargers. The first of the new V3 Superchargers manufactured in China went online on May 20. Tesla invested 420 million yuan (US$65.2 million) in the new facility.
Tesla first announced its next-generation V3 Superchargers in March 2019. At the time, the company said the more powerful Superchargers can add 75 miles of range to a Model 3 sedan in just 5 minutes.
Tesla's next-generation V3 Superchargers can also charge more vehicles at the same time. Tesla said the V3 Superchargers will ultimately cut the amount of time customers spend charging their vehicles by an average of 50%, based on fleet data collected by the company.
Tesla said it completely redesigned the electrical architecture of the more powerful V3 Superchargers. Each unit provides 1 megawatt (MW), which is the same power in Tesla's utility products. 1 MW is enough to power an entire building.
"In order to drive continued electric vehicle adoption and further accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy, charging needs to be even faster, and the number of vehicles able to charge at a location in a day needs to be significantly higher," Tesla wrote in a March 2019 blog post when the V3 Superchargers were unveiled.
In June, Tesla announced that it opened a Supercharger route of more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) along the famed Silk Road. The route includes 27 charging stations along the route. Tesla claims it's the longest East-West Supercharger route in China.
The expanding charging network is expected to help Tesla accelerate its growth in China. Tesla has faced falling sales this year in China, despite the ramp up of Model 3 and Model Y production in Shanghai.
Tesla's faced increased scrutiny earlier this year from Chinese regulators over data privacy issues and how the company handled customers complaints in the world's biggest auto market. Tesla is also facing growing competition from EV startups XPeng and NIO Inc., as well as new electric models from China's automakers.
According to the latest sales data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), sales of China-made Tesla vehicles totaled 32,968 vehicles in July, However, 74% of them were exported outside China, mainly to Europe.
Tesla recently cut prices in China to help boost local sales. Last month, Tesla introduced a more affordable version of the Model Y for China. It also lowered the starting price for the Model 3 sedan to US$36,371. The Standard Range Plus Model 3 starts at $39,990 in the U.S.
Tesla is also working to expand its charging network in Europe. With Tesla's new factory under construction near Berlin, the California company is aiming to sell more electric vehicles in Europe and these drivers will need access to convenient charging.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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