Tesla has deployed its largest Destination Charging station in Asia – a giant station with 50 charge points.
Interestingly, the station has been installed in Hong Kong, which was once a large market for Tesla, but it has since slowed down to just a few sales per quarter.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk once described Hong Kong as a “beacon city for electric vehicles” due to its extremely high rate of EV adoption. He might have as well called it a “beacon city for Tesla” since most of those vehicles were Tesla’s, which held over 80% market share in Hong Kong’s EV market.
But the government succumbed to pressure from other automakers last year and slashed EV incentives.
In September 2016, we reported on German automakers complaining about Tesla owning the EV market in Hong Kong, which they claim was because the EV incentive didn’t apply to plug-in hybrids (Tesla only makes all-electric vehicles while German automakers offer more plug-in hybrids).
At the time, their lobbying effort was focused on including plug-in hybrids, but they also said that the current implementation of the incentive was “unfair”.
The local government instead decided to give up on the incentive altogether.
Hong Kong started an aggressive phaseout of its tax exemption for electric vehicles in April 2017.
While it was clear that a drop in demand would follow the change, which basically increased the price of EVs by 50 to 80 percent, the complete halt of sales was an even bigger impact than anticipated.
Tesla announced plans to downsize its workforce in Hong Kong after EV incentives were slashed.
Sales have now started to increase again, but they are still only a small fraction of what they once were in the market.
Nonetheless, Tesla partnered with the landlord of a large building in Hong Kong to deploy its largest Destination Charging station in Asia.
The building’s car park has 122 spaces and now 50 of them have access to a Tesla Wall Connector at no additional cost over the HK$28 (US$3.59) hourly parking fee.
A Tesla spokesperson said that they plan to continue investing in the market (via South China Morning Post):
“We’re proud to have Hong Kong as the site for one of the world’s biggest destination charging stations, as part of our long-term commitment to Hong Kong owners … This underlines our continuous commitment to and investment in the Hong Kong market, as evident from these charging infrastructure additions,”
Tesla’s Supercharger Network, which offers faster charging (up to 120 kW) for long-distance travel, has been getting more attention, but the automaker has also been ramping up its Destination Charging network.
The network is especially popular in urban areas.
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