One of the primary obstacles to EV ownership in China has been a total lack of charging stations, which has spurred buth private and public enterprises to resolve the problem. As China’s government is readying a $16 billion investment in EV charging stations, Tesla has announced plans to install 400 of its own charging stations in 120 Chinese cities.
Bloomberg reports that this will approximately triple the number of Tesla charging statons in the country, of which there are only about 170 Level 2 chargers locate primarily at shopping malls and other “destination” areas. There are also only 17 Tesla Superchargers in three chinese cities at the moment, though plans call for the installation of another 20 Superchargers, on top of the additional 400 Level 2 chargers. The deal came about as part of a partnership with the country’s second-largest telecom company, China Unicom, and InTime Retail.
The additional charging stations, like the Tesla Superchargers, will use proprietary plugs and will be free for Tesla owners. Alas, non-Tesla EV drivers won’t be able to plug in, though a growing number of private and public EV charging stations are cropping up all around China mean “new energy vehicle” drivers will soon have plenty of places to plug in.
So far, Tesla has focused sales and Superchargers around cities like Beijing and Hong Kong, but sales have been strong enough to encourage it to expand sales to 38 major cities across the country. Soon Superchargers will cover most of the heavily-populated eastern half of China, and with charging options at malls across the country, Tesla drivers won’t be left without a place to plug into soon.