Two years after Tesla started constructing its $2-billion gigafactory in Shanghai, China, the pioneering electric vehicle (“EV”) maker has announced that it has started selling China-made Tesla Model Y sport-utility vehicles (“SUV”), with deliveries starting this month. According to Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, the firm’s long-term plan is to transition more of the world to clean, sustainable energy, and to reach a broader mass market with its all-electric EVs. To achieve these objectives, the EV maker is looking to expand its sales in China, which is currently the world’s largest vehicle market.
China emits more greenhouse gases and mercury than any other country in the world. Consequently, the Chinese government offers sizeable subsidies to encourage the adoption of zero-emission EVs, making the country quite attractive for EV makers. Aside from Tesla, the country is also home to several EV start-ups, including Nio Inc., Li Auto Inc. and Xpeng Inc. as well as traditional automakers such as BMW and AG. Each of these companies has an electric SUV model.
According to Tesla’s Chinese website, the Model Y Long Range version will sell at a starting price of $52,000 (339,000 yuan) while the performance version will go for more than $57,000 (369,900 yuan). These prices are close to one-third less than what Tesla initially quoted in August, and they may help the company carve out a larger segment of the world’s fastest-growing car market.
Both versions of the Model Y will come in black, which is the standard color for Tesla EVs in China. People who want to change the color to white, blue, red, or dark grey will pay an extra $1,238 (8,000 yuan). Deliveries for the long-range version will start in January while drivers who ordered the performance version will have to wait until the third quarter. With an estimated top speed of 134.8 miles per hour, the Model Y has a range of 369 miles (594 kilometers) on a single charge.
Tesla’s first China-made EV was the Model 3 sedan, which was also produced at its Shanghai Gigafactory, with the firm making the first deliveries of the immensely popular EV in December 2019. The EV maker plans on expanding its Shanghai facility, which had an initial production target of 3,000 cars per week and is eventually ramping up to 250,000 EVs per year. It also plans to start manufacturing electric vehicle chargers at the facility.
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