Tesla Signs Deal With China Unicom on Charging Points

China Electric Vehicle
A man charges an electric vehicle at an EV charging station at the company's campus in the Pingshan district of Shenzhen, China. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Tesla Motors Inc., the electric automaker led by billionaire Elon Musk, will work with China’s second-largest mobile-phone company to set up charging points for its vehicles.

Tesla signed an agreement today with China United Network Communications Corp. to build 400 charging points in 120 Chinese cities at China Unicom outlets, Tesla spokeswoman Peggy Yang said today in a phone interview. The two companies will also build 20 supercharging stations that work as much as 16 times faster, she said.

The automaker joins Bayerische Motoren Werke AG in setting up public charging points in China to make it more convenient for owners of electric vehicles. The central government is considering providing as much as 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) to build charging facilities and spur demand for clean cars, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, has also signed agreements with real-estate developers Soho China Ltd. and China Yantai Holdings Co. to set up charging points at their properties around the nation.

Under today’s agreement, Tesla will provide the equipment for the charging stations, while China Unicom will provide the land, Yang said, declining to reveal the cost. Tesla customers will be able to charge their cars for free at the stations, she said.

QQ.com reported today that the companies were about to sign the agreement, without saying where they got the information.

— With assistance by Alexandra Ho

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