Tesla builds up charging and service networks in China


Tesla intends to increase the number of its service centres in China from 29 to 63 and the number of its fast-charging stations by 39 per cent to 362 units.  The Californian company has also increased the charging capacity of Model 3 with the latest software update.

Tesla’s increasing number of service centres and charging stations coincides with the upcoming production start in the Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai. According to Reuters, Tesla plans to convert some of its 48 existing showrooms in China into one-stop shops. In the future, these “Tesla Centers” will also serve as warehouses for deliveries and as support locations for maintenance. Reuters quoted anonymous sources saying that the first of these centres will be located in Shanghai and Guangzhou.

As far as maintenance and repair are concerned, Tesla currently operates most of its service facilities in China’s coastal regions and major provincial capitals. Apparently, now more are planned in the cities of Urumqi, Kunming and Harbin. “The expansion of the service network is very important to boost customer confidence,” Tesla’s China boss Wang Hao told Reuters, adding that the Californian company would build more charging stations in China next year at a “faster pace.”

Elsewhere, an increase in physical facilities is not really what Tesla is aiming for. The plans for China clearly mark a departure from the strategy announced by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in March of closing down facilities worldwide to bring down costs. It seems that here, the US American electric car manufacturer will make an exception for China. Tesla currently operates about 48 showrooms in mainland China in contrast to, for example, BMW, Daimler’s  Mercedes Benz, and Audi who all have more than 500 sales outlets there.

While Tesla’s sales in the USA fell by 39 per cent in the third quarter of 2019, they rose in China by 64 per cent to 669 million dollars – and this was only possible with import models. In the Gigafactory in Shanghai, 3,000 Model 3 models per week are shortly expected to roll off the production line. According to the research company LMC Automotive, this would be four times as many as were sold this year in China per month.

In other Tesla news globally, the US American company has increased the maximum charging capacity of the Model 3 Standard Range Plus to 170 kW with the latest software update. In contrast to the Model 3 versions with a larger battery, this was previously limited to 120 kW. Update 2019.36.1 also increases the drive power by five per cent.

reuters.com (China), insideevs.com, teslarati.com (software update)


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