China-built Tesla cars secure new energy vehicle subsidies

Technology

A China-made Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle is seen ahead of the Guangzhou auto show in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Yilei Sun

BEIJING (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) said on Friday its Chinese-built Model 3 cars would receive state subsidies, a move that will help the U.S. electric vehicle maker’s push into the world’s biggest auto market.

China’s industry ministry had earlier said Tesla’s Model 3 cars, being built at its $2 billion factory in Shanghai, were on a list recommended for subsidies for new energy vehicles (NEVs), which include plug-in hybrids, battery-only electric vehicles and those powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Tesla said in a statement the subsidies had been secured.

Two variants of Tesla Model 3 vehicles are on the list for the generous NEV subsidy program, according to the website of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The California-based electric vehicle maker aims to make more than 1,000 vehicles a week by the end of 2019 for it Shanghai plant and deliver the China-made vehicles before the Chinese new year on Jan. 25.

The annual capacity at the factory in its first phase is expected to reach 250,000 vehicles, equivalent to about 4,800 a week. This will include 150,000 Model 3 cars.

It was not immediately clear how much of a subsidy the vehicles would receive. The starting price for China-made Model 3 cars is 355,800 yuan ($50,550), according to Tesla’s website.

China hopes sales of NEVs which constituted around 4.6% of overall market in 2018, can reach a quarter of car sales in 2025.

Tesla, led by billionaire Elon Musk, is planning a broad after-sales network in China.

Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Edmund Blair

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