Tesla and China Unicom LTD have agreed to build 400 new charging stations in China, plus 20 urban superchargers in the world’s biggest — and possibly smoggiest — auto market. To boot, the rumor mill suggests Chinese officials are about to announce a big nationwide plan to boost the fledgling EV market. Presumably it goes beyond this charger expansion. And a second tier of rumors suggests funding for this EV program could come from a new gas tax.
So far Chinese consumers haven’t embraced EVs at the desired rate. Lack of infrastructure is one problem, but lousy Chinese-made cars don’t help. Further reading on that lousiness here and here. Tesla’s presence undoubtedly will make EVs interesting, and offer an American alternative, and boost infrastructure. The imminent introduction of the BMW i3, albeit not a pure EV, won’t hurt. And TeslaMondo will always acknowledge the BYD Denza, because Daimler chief Darth Dieter Zetsche is involved. He did save Tesla from the abyss years ago and still owns a four-percent stake in Tesla. Like it or not, Darth Dieter is yo’ daddy.