Electric vehicles

Future of transport

Hong Kong now has highest density of Tesla superchargers in the world

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 July, 2015, 4:26pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 November, 2015, 12:01pm

With the latest station installed last week, Hong Kong now has the highest density of Tesla superchargers in the world, the company said on Thursday.

No. 8 was installed in Kowloon last Friday, putting a supercharger within 20 minutes’ drive of most locally based owners of the standard Model S, or one of Tesla’s faster electric supercars, it added. The eight stations comprise a total of 36 supercharger stalls. 

This gives the city a distinct advantage over the Chinese mainland, where drivers have complained about the poor charging infrastructure, even as the government promotes a migration over to electric cars and buses. 

Tesla also announced on Thursday that it made 11,507 deliveries for its Tesla Model S car in the second quarter of 2015, a new record for most cars delivered in a quarter and a 52 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

EV sales are also gaining traction in Hong Kong, with 2,200 electric cars now licensed and on the road compared to just 100 in 2011, according to the Environmental Protection Department.

The city has approved 40 models from seven countries and extended tax waivers until 2017 to promote their adoption. The Model S retails from HK$529,000 (US$68,245).

In April, to boost consumer confidence, Tesla said that owners in Hong Kong would be eligible for its guaranteed resale scheme

This allows drivers to sell their cars back to the automaker for 75 per cent of the base price three years after they purchase it. 

READ MORE: Tesla-like electric cars 'won't succeed in China' even if we give it 10 years, warns top online seller

Despite Tesla’s success in various markets, it is experiencing a lack of demand in China as well as a backlog of cars in its inventory there.

Media reports said it had over 2,000 cars in its inventory in April, one of the reasons it decided to trim its work force in the country.

CEO Elon Musk visited China earlier in March, telling state media that he planned to localise production by 2018. Two months earlier, he was quoted as saying that China sales had taken a hit in the last quarter of 2014.

Huge infrastructure gaps remain a major hurdle in getting electric vehicles into the mainstream market in China, George Sun, vice president of
Chinese telecoms giant ZTE, said last week in Hong Kong.

READ MORE: Chinese Tesla owner turns power line into illegal personal charging station

Although long-distance road trips are gaining currency in China, they remain a less practical option for drivers of electric cars, which usually need to recharge after several hundred kilometres. 

It takes 20 minutes to replenish half of a Model S’ battery at a supercharging station, or six to 10 hours to fully recharge it using a standard household socket, Tesla said. 

The company has 453 supercharger stations worldwide, according to its website. Its two-motor, all-wheel-drive P85D goes from 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds, making it faster than most Lamborghinis.