SEVEN people in Shanghai are now the proud owners of a Tesla Model S after they received the keys from Elon Musk, the US electric car company’s chief executive, yesterday.
The carmaker also opened a sales and experience center in Jinqiao in the Pudong New Area and two supercharger stations in Jinqiao and Jiading District.
Tesla has registered a local sales subsidiary in Jinqiao, said Li Youlin, vice director of Jinqiao Economy and Technology Development Zone.
Tesla is expected to get favorable policy such as free plates, Li added.
Users can get free plates for China-made new-energy cars, according to the Shanghai policy, which doesn’t include imported new-energy vehicles such as Tesla.
The seven owners, mostly top business executives or their wives, are the first people in Shanghai to own the new model. The first Beijing buyers got their keys on Tuesday.
The company started taking orders from China more than six months ago, and there have been complaints about delays.
On Sunday, 23 customers who booked Tesla cars, with the basic model costing 734,000 yuan (US$118,000), held a demonstration at the Beijing auto show in protest at their long wait. Tesla admitted the delays had been caused by “charging considerations.”
The disgruntled customers were from cities outside Beijing and Shanghai, the only two places in China with a charging infrastructure said to meet the company’s requirements.
Developing a charging facility network in China often involves complex negotiations with the state grid, a source of frustration for many electric car manufacturers.
At yesterday’s handover ceremony, Musk said he had been impressed by the speed with which the two supercharger stations had been set up.
The Tesla Model S will be on display to the public at the 2nd China (Shanghai) International Technology Fair, which opens at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center today.