Tesla Motors continued to make inroads into the China market last week when it signed deals with real estate developers SOHO China and China Yintai Holdings to build charging centres in Beijing.
The high-end luxury car maker, whose Model S costs at least RMB 620,000 (US$100,000) locally, delivered its first eight electric sedans to customers in China last month. At the time, company CEO Elon Musk said Tesla would spend several hundred million dollars to put in place a nation-wide network of charging stations and service centres as fast as it could.
On Friday Tesla signed its deal with SOHO, the developer controlled by China real estate glamour couple Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin to set up a charging centre in the company’s Zaha Hadid-designed Wangjing SOHO commercial complex which is planned to open this year.
Under the agreement between the car maker and the real estate firm, the new retail and office project will add nine Tesla charging facilities to support users of the eco-friendly luxury vehicles.
Tesla’s arrangement with the publicity-happy Beijing-based developer seems like a natural given SOHO co-founder Pan Shiyi’s history of demonstrating concern for the environment, and use of ecologically-driven elements in its projects
Earlier this year, Pan made a show of testing air quality levels on Shanghai’s subway during wide concerns over pollution in the country’s financial centre. The company’s Galaxy SOHO project which opened last year was designed to achieve a LEED Silver rating on the US green building scoring scale.
Charging Your Tesla in Beijing’s Poshest District
Earlier in the week, the Silicon Valley-based car producer had put in place a similar agreement with Yintai Holdings to set up a free charging facility at the developers Beijing Yintai Center on Chang’an Street in the capital’s central business district.
According to Yintai, the first phase of the agreement calls for the Center, which includes a shopping mall, office tower and the Park Hyatt Beijing, to provide 40 spaces with charging facilities for Tesla drivers. The agreement allows for the project to later expand to Yintai facilities in at least 30 other cities across China.
So far, the company has set up two supercharger stations in Shanghai to support its early buyers there. Another station in Wangjing, in northeast Beijing, is said to be due to start operations soon.