China is serious about electric vehicles, which it sees as part of the solution for its air pollution problem. In order to facilitate the adoption, the country developed its own charging standard and it is investing heavily in deploying state-owned EV charging infrastructure.
Tesla has been working with the government to promote the recently revealed standard and now it plans to introduce a new adapter for its cars to have access to the new charging stations, which it hopes will increase sales in the country.
Tom Zhu, Tesla’s China country manager, confirmed the introduction of the new converter during a briefing at the Guangzhou auto show Friday (via Bloomberg):
“The converters will help our sales by reducing primary concerns in China. It marks an important milestone in Tesla’s development in China.”
The “primary concerns” Zhu was referring to are range anxiety and access to charging points.
Tesla already has an extensive number of charging points in China with over 100 Supercharger stations and even more Destination Chargers (over 1,300), but the incompatibility with the new Chinese charging standard is a problem.
When China says it is serious about EVs, it is not saying that lightly. The country wants 5 million EVs on the road by 2020 and it wants to have the supporting charging infrastructure ready in time. The government itself will deploy 12,000 new charging stations across the country and it is also working on an incentive plan for EV buyers to install home charging stations – they are planning to unlock $20 billion in financing for 4.8 million residential charging stations.
Tesla’s new adapter will allow its customer to have access the new public stations and to take advantage of the incentive plan for home charging.