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Trevor Collett | Apr, 24 2014 | 0 Comments

Tesla has celebrated its first delivery of the Model S EV to China by announcing its intention to build cars there within the next three to four years.

Company CEO Elon Musk said a new Chinese plant would add production capacity for Tesla, rather than serving as a shift in production away from the US.

Musk said the Chinese market was “very important” to Tesla, with the Model S set to go on sale there this week with a AU$130,332 price tag.

Tesla is expected to follow the practice of many of the world’s largest carmakers by aligning with a Chinese company, as a means of satisfying Chinese laws and eliminating hefty import tariffs and taxes.

Musk stressed that Tesla is aiming to establish itself in China before it builds cars there, saying the current Model S price is basically the car’s cost-price, plus the relevant Chinese taxes.

Once Tesla establishes a plant in China, the country’s 25 percent import tax will no longer apply, meaning the Model S’s current price-tag would be somewhere north of AU$97,749.

It is unclear at this stage if Tesla plans to build variants other than the Model S in China.

As it does in the US, Tesla plans to offer ‘Supercharging Stations’ to its Chinese customers, providing them with free electricity to recharge their EVs during the entire ownership.

Tesla also plans to establish ‘general’ charging stations in China, potentially capable of providing power to any EV, not just those wearing a Tesla badge.

As for the Model S’s arrival in Australia, watch this space.

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