BNEF recently released the 2022 Global Electric Vehicle Public Charging Update report, showing that Tesla will aggressively expand its charging network in China in 2021 and help boost electric vehicle sales.
Data shows that Tesla will install about 10,000 superchargers worldwide in 2021, more than 2.5 times the number installed in 2020. And the trend continues. The company announced in October that it plans to triple the size of its charging network over the next two years.
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In 2021, the largest increase in the number of Tesla Superchargers will be in the Chinese market, with more than 4,350, or about 43% of all installations.
It can be said that Tesla made a breakthrough in car sales in China last year. They sold more than 340,000 cars, almost 2.8 times their 2020 sales and just 8,000 fewer than the US. It is unclear whether the Chinese market will overtake the U.S. market as Tesla’s largest market in 2022.
It also underscores how Tesla appears to be using the Supercharger network as an important bargaining chip in boosting sales and future ambitions in China.
Tesla has a total of 6,000 Superchargers in China, but other Chinese companies are also actively expanding their charging networks. In China, there are currently 465,000 fast charging piles, of which 218,000 can provide more than 100 kilowatts of electricity.
But Tesla does not rely entirely on other charging networks, the key reason being that reliability cannot be guaranteed. Additionally, Tesla Shock Chargers can deliver up to 250 kW, compared to an average of 140 kW of DC chargers installed in China in 2020, which could make a meaningful contribution to Tesla’s sales in China.
Tesla has had great success in reliability, charging capabilities, and the adoption of new technology, which has not been overlooked by other automakers. Many automakers are building their own superfast charging networks and touting cars that charge faster.
The technological battle to catch up to Tesla’s charging dominance will continue, but there is still a long way to go to get it to market and at Tesla’s scale.