After about two years since Tesla entered Hong Kong, the company now seeks to expand its presence to Macau, the ‘Las Vegas’ of China, by opening up Superchargers and a popup store in Studio City, a luxury hotel, in addition to its existing service center at the Venetian. Additionally, Isabel Fan, Tesla’s Hong Kong Country Director, who also serves Macau and Taiwan at the moment, gives us insight and information into the company’s outlook on its venture into Macau.
Earlier this month, Macau Daily Times, reported that Tesla announced its plans to open up the first Superchargers in Macau in the early fall along with its first popup store in Studio City which will, supposedly, be offering test drives until September 4th.
More recently, Nelson Moura with Macau Business Daily had the opportunity to have a Q&A with Isabel Fan giving us a little more background on Tesla’s venture into the Macau market. And while a fairly lengthy interview, some of the notable highlights are listed below.
Image: Property President of Studio City, JD Clayton, and Isabel Fan at the ribbon cutting ceremony
For starters, Fan explains that Macau was chosen as a new retail location for Tesla because of a few factors: the experience the company has accrued from Hong Kong would translate well over to the new market, entering Macau would help in completing the coverage of China, and the fact that the government supports Tesla and electric vehicle adoption. This strong government support in Macau that she alludes to is how owners can take advantage of a tax waiver for being one of the first to register an EV, just like in Hong Kong.
Fan acknowledges that building up the local market won’t be an easy task. She goes on to state that the single biggest obstacle that the company will face is being able to implement an adequate charging infrastructure both independently and in collaboration with local utility companies to accommodate all that purchase an EV. While a major concern, the local government already has a plan to address the issue by “installing 50 public chargers at 10 locations within a year, and 400 in four years.” This continued policy support along with public education on electric vehicles will be key to success in Macau.
Having the support from the government is crucial to overcoming the aforementioned barriers, but Miss Fan anticipates other important factors to work in Tesla’s favor as well:
“The Macau people have great forward thinking. And the entertainment and hospitality industry here will need vehicles. In Macau, there are often pollution and congestion issues, with so many cars on the road. If there’s a choice I don’t think people will stop buying vehicles, and I think Macau is perfect for EVs.”
At this point in time, Fan states that there are about 5,000 total EVs in Hong Kong (most of them Teslas) and that the city is “on the path to becoming the best city for EVs in the world. With major coverage in most Tier 1 and 2 cities, there are enough chargers that one could drive from the south of China to Tibet.” With this level of success that Tesla is experiencing in Hong Kong, she goes on to express that she is “optimistic about the upcoming momentum for the city [Macau]” with the first deliveries to, hopefully, take place in the next couple of months.
A couple of other final thoughts and statements from Fan include her voicing that after focusing on Powerwall production for North America, the electrical storage unit could be an in-demand product for the local businesses and homeowners in the area. And that while, right now, the Tesla team is small in the city of Macau, she looks to hire locally for most positions.