Unicom – a Chinese mobile carrier – together with Tesla will offer free power to Tesla owners throughout the country. So far, the connection plugs will only work with Tesla vehicles.
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“The automaker, which began selling its Model S sedan in China in April, signed an accord [on Aug. 29] with China United Network Communications Corp. to build 400 charging points in 120 cities at China Unicom (762) outlets,” according to Bloomberg News.
The deal tops the company’s previous attempts to bring stations to areas across China. Tesla already provides its patented Supercharger facilities in the United States, as well as Europe.
The Los Angeles Times notes, “Sales of the electric vehicles have begun recently in China, where Tesla will be partnering with China Unicom to build the new charging stations. Tesla says it had already opened more than 200 charging points across China.”
Chinese officials hope to strengthen the effort by investing up to 100 billion in clean car technology – specifically by adding more charging opportunities. China is an important market for not only automakers, but also progressive technologists.
Currently, Unicom will make land space available for Tesla’s charging stations. Future deals may require additional real estate for further development. The automaker is already working with Soho China Ltd. and China Yantai Holdings Co. to bring charging stations to their properties, as well.
Reuters reports, “A shortage of charging facilities has long been considered a major roadblock to electric car sales in China, endangering Beijing’s ambition to put 5 million green vehicles on the road by 2020. By linking up with Unicom, which has stores nationwide, Tesla can quickly service customers in most parts of China.”
China hoped to put 500,000 electric cars on the road by 2015; however, to date, the country claims about 78,000 – most of which are public transportation, including buses and taxis. [/show_to]