Tuesday was a big day for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) as the company delivered its first eight electric sedans to customers in China. Elon Musk, the CEO of the company, informed that the company has plans of quickly building a network of service centers and charging stations in the regions. To make this possible Tesla will be investing few hundred million dollars in the China based charging infrastructure.
A brief ceremony for first owners
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) hosted a brief ceremony at its office in Beijing to deliver the first vehicles.
“I’m incredibly appreciative of customers like you for taking a chance on a new product from a new company,” Musk told the customers. “Without customers like you, we would have no chance.”
Some of the Chinese customers expressed frustration after the company postponed the delivery of vehicles for several months, to which Musk replied:
“We intentionally held back on the debut to the Chinese market until we were confident of that,” he said. Referring to customers, he said, “I met with them earlier today and personally apologized.”
Plans for China
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) launched Model S in China at a sticker price of $121,000. The shipping charges and import taxes make it an expensive buy in China while it’s available for $81,000 in U.S.
Development of an industry of electric cars was planned by the Chinese leaders, in 2009, and they had targeted sales of around 500,000 electric cars by 2015, but these plans have been scaled back by them. This has happened primarily because the foreign manufacturers are not willing to share their technology with the Chinese partners as they do not want them to turn into rivals.
Musk has announced that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has plans of entering into a partnership, for operating the charging stations, with the state owned power monopolies as Southern Grid and State Grid. Even though it’s possible to charge the car from a wall socket, but for speeding up the process the charging stations are better options. These charging stations will enable the users to travel long distances as they will be available both in and outside the cities.
Previously, Musk made an estimate that the car sales figure will reach 5000 in China in 2014. They have plans of manufacturing cars in China, as well, in the next three to four years time.