China's improving public charging system may be causing the utilization of Tesla's charging facilities to slip.
(Image credit: CnEVPost)
Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is trying to increase the use of its supercharger network by car owners in China, possibly because an improving public charging system has led to a decline in the utilization of its charging facilities.
The US electric vehicle maker is offering Chinese owners two programs to gain charging-related benefits, saying it's celebrating the 10th anniversary of its supercharging network, according to a post on its WeChat account today.
In one of the programs, Tesla owners in China can take part in a so-called supercharging limited-time challenge and get a chance to win prizes.
Between now and November 8, Tesla owners who pay to charge up to 300 kWh will have a chance to win a year's worth of free supercharging entitlements, subject to a 10,000-kilometer limit.
In addition to the free supercharging entitlement, other prizes include blind boxes with refrigerator stickers.
In another program, owners who charge at any Tesla supercharger station in China between August 11 and August 31 will have a chance to win one year of free supercharging credits with a limit of 10,000 kilometers.
The program also offers three other prizes of slightly lower value, including Tesla customized gifts, the 10,000th Tesla supercharger badge, and a coupon for an RMB 3 discount when charging over RMB 50.
Tesla installed its first supercharger in the world in September 2012. It began construction of its charging network here after entering the Chinese market in 2013.
In 2014, Tesla's first supercharger station in the Chinese mainland was completed in Jinqiao, Shanghai. In 2016, it inaugurated its 100th supercharging station in the Chinese mainland, in Beijing.
On December 26, 2022, Tesla opened its 10,000th supercharger in the Chinese mainland, located under Shanghai's landmark Oriental Pearl Tower.
Tesla now has more than 1,700 supercharging stations and offers more than 10,000 supercharging piles in China, it said late last month.
In addition, Tesla has more than 700 destination charging stations in China, providing more than 2,000 chargers.
On April 24, Tesla announced it was opening up its supercharger network to other brands of EVs in the Chinese mainland on a pilot basis, but initially only opened up a total of 10 supercharging stations in Beijing and Shanghai for 37 non-Tesla models.
Tesla hasn't shared any more progress on the opening of its charging network since then.
Tesla has already been trying to encourage owners to increase their use of its superchargers since last week.
On August 2, Phate Zhang, founder of CnEVPost and a Model 3 owner since 2020, received a message push from the Tesla app with text indicating that Tesla was offering a discount of RMB 10 when charging over RMB 60.
Zhang has only used Tesla's superchargers once in the past year, mainly because there are about 10 State Grid charging stations just down the stairs from his apartment, and they're much more convenient and about half the price of Tesla's superchargers.
China's public charging facilities have grown rapidly over the past few years, increasing by more than 410,000 units to 2.21 million from January to July this year, according to the China Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Promotion Alliance (EVCIPA).