Tesla to install free charging stations for Chinese customers

Tesla's China president Zhu Xiaotong has spoken to the media about future expansion for the first time since coming into the position at the end of last year.
Written by Liu Jiayi, Contributor

American electric car maker Tesla has been expanding fast in China recently, but Elon Musk, CEO and founder of the company, expects more from the Chinese market.

During the past eight months, the company set up more than nine experience centers in six province capitals and metropolitan cities, over 1,000 charging posts, and 52 super-charging stations, as Tencent reported on February 4.

Although Tesla performed well in China during the fourth quarter, the figure clearly didn't meet Musk's expectations. He said on January 13, 2015, in the US that sales in China dropped in Q4 2014, a comment that drove the company's stock prices down $14, a 6.85 percent decrease.

"Musk's high hope for us is like a parent for his or her child. We have to tell the market who is Tesla," remarked Zhu Xiaotong, who joined Tesla in April 2014 and previously worked as the director for the company's super-charging stations in China. "We position our products as luxurious, high-end, four-door coupe, and that allows us to know better about ourselves and our competitors."

After his predecessor's sudden resignation last December, Zhu took the baton and told Tencent that the company will begin installing free charging stations at customers' homes in 2015.

According to the report, Musk thinks that Tesla's under-performance in China is because the local customers have limited knowledge about the concept of refueling cars with electricity, and potential consumers don't think the charging network could allow Tesla vehicles to travel over long distances.

To solve the problem, Zhu thinks the company has to "develop in accordance with the situations in China".

In the next three years, Zhu said, besides focusing on providing better service and user experience, as well as facilitating the interaction between current car owners and mobilising them to become spokespersons for Tesla, the company will look to seek more help from the Chinese government to arouse people's interest in the growth of Tesla and the new energy industry in the country.

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