(Yicai Global) Oct. 17 -- Tesla Inc. will provide free charging adaptation services for customers in China, the US automaker said in an official statement yesterday.
Charging ports for Tesla Model S and Model X cars will be adapted to the Chinese standards, and users will be able to use charging piles offered by other electric vehicle brands in addition to dedicated Tesla charging facilities.
The existing 2,000 or so Tesla charging piles in China will also be adapted to the Chinese standards beginning next month.
In the traditional fossil-fuel vehicle market, the availability and accessibility of gas stations have a direct impact on customer experience and satisfaction, and the same can also be said about charging stations for EV users. Tesla started building its own charging facilities immediately after the first batch of Tesla cars were delivered in China in 2014. The company has kept a firm grip on charging network development ever since then. This time, it decided to localize its charging facilities per the Chinese standards, so that customers can enjoy more options, the firm explained.
Wanbang New Energy Investment Group Co. is a charging pile manufacturer based in East China's Jiangsu province. Tesla sales will increase significantly in China following the delivery of Model 3 cars, a senior executive at the company told Caixin Magazine. Tesla's own charging service network alone cannot cover so many vehicles, he said. In addition, China's charging pile market is much bigger and more complex relative to its US and European counterparts, and the American carmaker has encountered unexpected obstacles in charging pile development. This is perhaps the main reason underlying Tesla's decision to abort the plan to build its own charging network in China.
China has erected more than 190,000 public EV charging piles as of September, per statistics from China Electric Vehicle Charging Technology and Industry Alliance. All existing charging piles can be used for Tesla cars after their adaptation, per the new national standards.