China is the world’s largest market for car sales. Tesla’s vehicles have to be imported into China, as Tesla is unable to produce cars in China. Nevertheless, Tesla doubled its sales in China in 2017, and Tesla’s all-electric cars are commonly seen on China’s roads.
Tesla started to enter the Chinese market in 2014 and 2015, but it failed to gain traction early on. Since 2016, however, its sales in China exceeded $1 billion USD, up threefold from 2015 sales.
In 2017, Tesla failed to maintain that growth rate in the Chinese market, but its performance was still commendable. The company recently revealed that their sales in China doubled in 2017, surpassing $2 billion.
Tesla did not disclose the total number of cars sold in the Chinese market. Based on the average price of its cars, it is estimated that Tesla sold more than 20,000 vehicles in the Chinese market in 2017.
In 2017, the demand for Tesla Model X in China sharply increased. Last month, Model X owners held a summit in Shenzhen, where the following picture was taken.
Tesla has been trying to build more charging stations in China to bring more convenience to car owners. Tesla China says it has already built more than 1,000 fast-charging stations (in the Supercharger network for long-distance driving) and 2,000 destination charging stations (the ‘Tesla Wall Connector’ for charging once Tesla owners arrive at their destination).
Tesla’s three largest fast-charging stations are all located in China. In 2017, Chinese government fervently encouraged the construction of public charging stations. Tesla provided Model S and Model X owners new charging adapters compatible with China’s charging standards. This way, Tesla car owners can charge at both Tesla stations and other charging stations.
Tesla also opened retail outlets and service centers in more than 35 cities in China in 2017.
In the near future, Tesla will focus on producing cars in China to avoid high import duties. If the Model 3 can be produced domestically, it will very likely gain even more consumer interest.
Tesla confirmed last year that it will work with the city administration to build a plant in Shanghai. For now, consumers may need to wait a few more years to buy domestically produced Tesla cars.