Tesla Motors Inc., the electric-car maker led by billionaire Elon Musk, signed an agreement with real-estate developer Soho China Ltd. to set up more battery-charging outlets in the world’s largest auto market.
Tesla car owners will be able to use nine charging spots at a Soho China property in downtown Beijing starting today, the Palo Alto, California-based automaker said in an e-mailed statement.
Adding more charging stations may help boost the use of new-energy cars in China and move the central government closer to its goal of having more than 5 million electric and plug-in vehicles in the nation by 2020. Chinese authorities are working to boost the number of public charging points, with Shanghai saying it will build 46 of them by the end of the year.
“Tesla’s charging network in China needs to be built up quickly, not only because China is a very important market for Tesla’s future, but also as a commitment to our Chinese customers,” Veronica Wu, a Tesla vice president, said in the statement.
The company hopes to work with more partners to promote the development of the new-energy automobile industry, she said. Tesla, which delivered the first model S cars in Shanghai and Beijing in April, didn’t identify other companies it’s working with to expand charging infrastructure in China.
The carmaker also signed an agreement with China Yantai Holdings Co. on June 11 to set up more than 40 charging points at its properties around China, including one that’s already available in Beijing, said Peggy Yang, a Tesla spokeswoman based in the city.
The property owners will pay for the installation of dedicated parking spaces for charging Tesla vehicles, Yang said.
Besides the charging points set up in partnership with property developers, Tesla has three so-called supercharging stations in China, located in Beijing and Shanghai. Superchargers, owned and built by the company, allow Tesla car owners to replenish their battery life as much as 16 times faster than at public charging stations and for free.
Tesla, which has 97 supercharging stations in North America and 20 in Europe, plans to build a large supercharger network in China, it said in May.
— With assistance by Alexandra Ho