BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) — U.S. electric carmaker Tesla on Thursday announced the base price tag for its Model S in China, the world’s largest auto market.
The Model S electric sedan with the premium 85 kWh battery pack has a base price of 734,000 yuan (121,300 U.S. dollars), Tesla said in a statement.
The aggressive pricing was set as the automaker seeks to “advance the cause of electric cars” and also apparently to get a slice of the booming luxury-car market in China.
The price is the same as that in the United States (81,070 U.S. dollars), if excluding the unavoidable taxes, customs duties and transportation costs.
“This pricing structure is something of a risk for Tesla, but we want to do the right thing for Chinese consumers,” the company’s statement said. “If we were to follow standard industry practice, we could get away with charging twice as much for the Model S in China as we do in the United States.
“We know that our competitors will try to convince Chinese consumers that our relatively lower price tag means the Model S is a lesser car, when the real reason their car costs more is that they make double the profit per car in China compared to the United States or Europe.”
The carmaker also indicated that it would build a free-to-use supercharger network across China to facilitate the use of its electric vehicles.
In China, Tesla started accepting orders for the Model S sedans in August with a downpayment of 250,000 yuan. Customers now can also place orders for the coming Model X.
Tesla has one showroom and a sales and service center in Beijing — the only ones in the Chinese mainland.
Over the past years, the Chinese government has rolled out many preferential policies, including subsidies, to encourage purchases of electric sedans amid efforts to clean up the air. But lukewarm sales have suggested that most car buyers are reluctant to buy electric vehicles when faced with the cars’ shortcomings.