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Tesla Installs its 2,000th Supercharger in China as Shanghai Gigafactory Nears Completion

Tesla Installs its 2,000th Supercharger in China as Shanghai Gigafactory Nears Completion

Author: Eric Walz   

China is the world's biggest auto market and an important market for electric automaker Tesla. The company is building its first Gigafactory outside of the U.S. in Shanghai, which is on track to start producing the Tesla Model 3 for the Chinese market by year end. 

In preparation for an expected boom in electric car sales in mainland China, Tesla is busy installing EV charging infrastructure to meet demand. This week Tesla installed its 2,000 Supercharger in China near Shanghai, reports Chinese news site Gasgoo.

According Gasgoo, Tesla said on Oct 30 the 2,000th supercharger in mainland China was installed at a commercial area in Shanghai, namely Shangjia Center. In addition to the Superchargers, Tesla installed another 2,100 destination chargers in more than 130 cities forming an expansive charging network across its biggest overseas market.

Tesla website says it now has 1,636 Supercharger stations with 14,497 Superchargers in Asia, North America and Europe. 

Tesla is installing its Superchargers in busy urban areas in China where residents and visitors can easily charge their vehicles. The stations are being built in nearby grocery stores, downtown districts, and shopping centers. In addition, Tesla is building charging stations along highways in mainland China.     

Tesla's lower power Destination Chargers are typically installed at hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers, allowing customers to charge their Tesla vehicles for a few hours or overnight.

Tesla's Superchargers are capable of charging a Tesla vehicle in about 30 minutes.The Superchargers deliver energy rapidly at first, and then gradually slows down as the battery pack reaches a fuller charge. Tesla says that charging above 80% isn't always necessary.

Tesla automatically alerts drivers via the Tesla app when their vehicle has enough charge to continue to their destination. Tesla's Trip Planner navigation feature automatically routes drivers through convenient Superchargers along the way. 

Tesla also plans to grow the number of V3 Superchargers in China. The V3 chargers are new architecture for Supercharging using a newly developed 1MW power cabinet that supports peak rates of up to 250kW per car. 

At this charging rate, a Model 3 Long Range can recover up to 75 miles of charge in 5 minutes and charge at rates of up to 1,000 miles per hour, according to Tesla. V3 Supercharging will ultimately cut the amount of time customers spend charging by an average of 50%, Tesla claims.

China is the world's largest market for EVs and Tesla expects its China-built Model 3s to become a big seller which is why the company is expanding its charging network. Building cars in China will also help Tesla avoid steep import tariffs are a result of the ongoing trade tensions between Beijing and the Trump administration.

The Chinese State Council said a 25% tariff will be imposed on U.S. cars and a 5% on auto parts and components will go into effect on Dec.15 unless an agreement on trade can be reached between China and the U.S. China delayed the tariffs in April as a goodwill gesture as trade negotiations continued.

Tesla's Shanghai factory will produce the Model 3, Model Y crossover as well as battery cells, with an initial production rate target of 250,000 electric cars per year. 

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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