China has great potential for electric vehicles thanks to the country’s favorable policies and promising market prospect, a senior executive of Tesla Motors, a California-based electric vehicle design and manufacturing corporation, said Tuesday.
“China is a very important automotive market overall, but also for electric cars,” Jerome Guillen, Tesla’s vice president of Worldwide Sales and Service, told Xinhua at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.
In 2014, Tesla began rapidly ramping up its Chinese supercharger stations, indicating a long-term commitment to growing its business in the country. With the first station established in Beijing in June 2014, Tesla currently runs a network of more than 180 superchargers which spans from Shenyang to Hong Kong.
“We’ve grown very much. We started in Beijing and Shanghai, and we added Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Xi’an. So we are expanding in China. It’s the beginning but it’s a long journey,” Guillen said.
“We’re very pleased to see the government’s strong interest in new energy vehicles in China,” he added.
The electric automobile company was not always so keen on exploring the Chinese market before. Tesla came into China in April 2014, and was almost a year late in delivering its vehicles to the first customers in China because of a customs mix-up.
Industry analysts said the shift in attitude may reflect an acknowledgement of the Chinese government’s substantial subsidies for electric car users, in addition to the national plan prioritizing electric car development.
Chinese customers are reacting positively to Tesla products with “thousands” of Model S sold in China, according to the company’s executives.