Tesla to expand lineup in China by offering Model 3 sedan

Car to have range of 650kms on one charge, compared to 450kms for current version

Elon Musk of Tesla, which has seen its factory in China recover from a virus-related shutdown better than many.

Elon Musk of Tesla, which has seen its factory in China recover from a virus-related shutdown better than many.

 

Tesla plans to expand its line-up in China by offering a locally built Model 3 sedan with a longer driving range from as early as this week, according to people familiar with the matter.

The vehicle would have a range of more than 650kms (404 miles) on one charge, compared with about 450kms for the current most basic version that starts at 323,800 yuan ($45,800), the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public.

The variant would start at about 350,000 yuan before rebates, though exact pricing has yet to be decided, they said.

The longer-range Model 3, like the existing cheaper version, would qualify for electric-vehicle subsidies and is exempt from China’s car purchase tax.

Tesla representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Registrations of Tesla vehicles have fallen for two consecutive months in China, amid a broader slump for the industry hit by the coronavirus outbreak. The slowdown has come amid Tesla’s multibillion-dollar push to expand in the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market.

Yet Tesla’s factory in China has recovered from a virus-related shutdown better than many in the industry, helped by aid from local authorities.

After resuming operations on February 10th, the Shanghai plant – Tesla’s only outside the US – has surpassed the capacity it had before the shutdown, reaching a weekly production of 3,000 cars, the company said last month. – Bloomberg