2014-07-07 Zhang Dongya China Entrepreneur The progress of layout of Tesla supercharger is quite slow, while it has provided Tesla and Chinese retailers with the opportunity to cooperate in the destination charging project. The potential consumption power brought by consumers of new energy automobile is what retailers and land agent values most. Andrew, president of an environmental protection technology company in Guangzhou, finally obtained his beloved “coquettishly red” Tesla in Beijing. However, if he wants to drive the car from Beijing to Guangzhou, it would not likely to happen. The reason is that there is no battery charging pole in other areas other than the established 3 Tesla supercharging stations in Beijing and Shanghai. From Being to Shanghai, and then to Guangzhou, there is a distance of 1262 kilometers and 1517 kilometers respectively, so it would be impossible for Tesla with the battery coverage of 500 kilometers, to make this happen without charging on the way. Andrew decided to erect charging poles by himself. He bought 20 wall-mounted chargers from Tesla successively and erected the first one on a candy store in Beijing 798 Art Zone and started his journey of “north-to-south charging”. One May 28, Andrew led his team of 10 people, starting from Beijing, passing by Tianjin, Jinan, Qingdao, Xuzhou, Nanjing and Shanghai and then made a detour to Wuhan and Changsha, and finally arrived at the destination Guangzhou. During the 15 days, covering 17 cities with a total mileage of 3985.6 kilometers, Andrew has established 20 charging poles totally along the way. According to Andrew, most of the charging poles are erected in the parks of hotels, and some are in the office buildings or leisure and entertainment sites. The agreement was that Andrew provides charging poles (the retail price is about 10,000 Yuan), and the hotels would be responsible for the erection, maintenance and providing charging for customers for free. The “north-to-south charging route” donated by Andrew has solved the extreme urgencies of Tesla owners in China to some degree. After that, there are continuously car owners sharing their charging from the piles donated by Andrew. Andrew thinks that his behavior might have inspired Tesla, about which Tesla yet has no idea. However, Tesla did see the potential for Chinese people to accept electric cars. In the deadlock of proceeding with supercharging stations, orienting at “destinations” such as large-scale commercial complex and office buildings, etc. is obviously one of the solutions for Tesla. Generally speaking, Tesla has three charging modes: household charging pole, supercharging station and destination charging projects. Among those, supercharging station needs the cooperation of State Grid Corporation of China, while the progress is slow at the time being. In mid-June, Tesla suddenly announced that two “destination charging” projects are completed in Beijing, one is in Wangjing SOHO, and the other is in the Yintai Center which is located in the core area of CBD. SOHO would provide 9 free charging stalls for car owners, and Yintai would provide 2. The cooperating mode is that Tesla would provide charging poles, and the “destinations” would be responsible for erection, maintenance of charging equipments as well as power supply, all of which are free of charge. Up till now, together with Tesla’s charging stalls in the exhibition hall of Parkview Green of Tesla and elsewhere, Tesla has totally 6 destination charging stations offering more than 30 charging stalls in Beijing. Most of these charging stalls are set in the core business region, large-scale shopping malls or office buildings. The “destination charging” is programmed in the style that car owners do not come specifically for charging, but rather go to the “destination” and charge the car by the way. Wang Hao, public charging service director of Tesla, told China Entrepreneur, “ for example, you go to work in Wangjing SOHO or go shopping in Yintai Center.” According to the initial envision of Tesla, supercharging station is the leading charging mode. The rapid and highly effective charging technology charges half of the battery in 20 minutes and fully charges the battery in 80 minutes Tesla owners could park their car shortly on the expressway in cities of North America, Europe and Asia to make a replenishment rapidly. The initial input in North America and Europe began to take shape. In North America, almost 100 supercharging stations are established, which stretch across the east and west coast of America and is planned to cover 98% of the population in America and some part of Canada in the next year. However, the establishment of charging stations in China has come across the unprecedented resistance. Up to now, there is only one supercharging station in Jiuxianqiao in Beijing, where 2 supercharging poles are set; Shanghai has two stations in Jinqiao and Jiading respectively, where 12 cars can be charged at the same time. Apart from that, the layout of supercharging stations in China is still absent. Since the official delivery of car in China in April this year, almost 500 car owners have obtained their new cars, most of whom are from Beijing and Shanghai. Nevertheless, the backwardness of supporting facilities such as supercharging station and charging pole etc. has made Chinese owners very upset. Through negotiation in the last year, Tesla’s practice of copying supercharging stations in America is basically failure, and other charging modes must be relied on in China. In April, Wang Hao joined Tesla as public charging service director. His responsibility is to expand the domestic “destination charging” layout. Before that, Wang Hao worked in Education and Enterprise Department of Apple Greater China, as a colleague of Wu Bixuan, currently global vice president of Tesla. Tesla has positioned itself a product of internet technological rather than a luxury car. With such concept, it has poached many employees from Apple. This concept was also highly acknowledged by cooperators like SOHO and Yintai. Yin Xiaozhou, general manager of Beijing Yintai Properties Co., Ltd., once said to the media that one of the reason why they are willing to cooperate with Tesla is that they really care about the person that Tesla represents behind. And Maske is very creative in person, so Yintai would love to cooperate with prospective companies, which means the trend of future development. According to Wang Hao, Wangjing SOHO is the most high-end real estate project of SOHO China founded by Pan Shiyi, and the tenants are mostly companies of science and technology, which are very interested in Internet and new energy. Quite a few of them have ordered Tesla, including Pan Shiyi, “They have great demands in the charging stalls for electric cars. Therefore in the future, it would be not just Tesla but also other electric car brands that would need charging”. Tesla came into contact with Pan Shiyi soon after the commercialization of Wangjing SOHO Tower 3. When Wang Hao investigated the stalls in Wangjing CBD, Tower 3 known as the highest building in Wangjing was not complete yet, with the underground garage still under construction. The result of negotiation was that Tower 3 would offer 5 stalls for charging Tesla vehicles specially, and Towers 1 and 2 would offer 4. Wangjing SOHO is constituted by three high-rise buildings and three low-rise commercial buildings integrated with work and commerce, which is capable of accommodating 60,000 people. Pan Shiyi expressed that SOHO China would cooperate with Tesla in other premises of Beijing and Shanghai to provide charging stalls. After that, Tesla got associated successively with another “high-end, lofty and classy” commercial complex, Beijing Yintai Center. Wu Bixuan, principal of Tesla China closes the deal with 2 stalls by attending to the matter personally. “After all, the cost of land in that place is so high, and these are the stalls used specially for Tesla. We hope to use them more efficiently as well”, Wang Hao said. It’s said that for the fixed stalls in the underground parking garage of Beijing Yintai Center, the monthly payment of stall is 1600Yuan/month. Calculated at such rates, the yearly parking expense for two stalls would be nearly 40,000Yuan. Combined with the electric charges, the yearly expenditure would be about 70,000 Yuan. Chen Xiaodong, executive director and CEO of Intime Retail (Group) Company Limited said to the journalist, “Intime would not make the accounts like this, and would not count the gratuities. We would try our best to meet customer’s needs. Once customers like you, you would naturally obtain long-term interests from this.” According to Chen Xiaodong, the cooperation between Intime and Tesla is introduced by Xiasha District Government of Hangzhou City. The two parties reached a consensus quite soon, which took less than a month for them from coming into contact to the announcement of their cooperation. In the future, Yintai Center plans to expand its charging stalls to almost 100, including public charging stalls and special parking stalls for Tesla; Yintai even promises that if the policy is loosened in the future, it would be willing to provide sites of maintenance of Tesla. One reason why land retailers welcome Tesla is that its environmental protection concept enjoys popular support and those who accept this kind of concept are high-end customers in SOHO and Yintai. Currently, the domestic demands for new energy electrombile are kicking off. According to the data released by ESCN.COM in June, the yield of domestic energy-saving and new energy automobiles increased to 6525, marking the increase of almost 40% on both year-on-year basis and link relative ratio; in the aspect of import of finished car, 2039 hybrid electric vehicles are imported and 545 full electric vehicles are imported, including 532 Tesla Model S and 13 BMW i3. Though the import quantity of Tesla hits the biggest monthly import volume since it came into the market in China, it’s still far away from expectation, and charging and after-sale are the biggest difficulties in its promotion in China. The consumers’ huge demands in new energy automobiles and the potential consumption power brought by this group of people are what retailer and land agent care most. Insiders point out that, the setting of Tesla “destination charging stall” would achieve many things at one stroke for large-scale commercial complex: through providing free service, the merchants could attract owners of Tesla or other electric vehicles to come for shopping, dining and consumption, and the parking stalls of new energy automotive would become the standard configuration for all real estate in the future. Different from supercharging stations, destination charging offers relatively low voltage and the charging time is relatively long. Take Wangjing SOHO and Yintai Center as the example, an hour of charging could enable the driving of 100 kilometers, and it takes 5 hours to get the charging complete. “‘Destination’ is part of the owner’s life and work, so owner could take advantage of the time of dining, watching movie or playing balls to complete the replenishment. It would take you at least an hour to have a dinner, or two hours to watch a movie, right. So actually it’s not that difficult to charge your car.” said Wang Hao. Currently, besides charging at home (it takes 8 hours to get fully charged), most of the owners from Beijing must get the replenishment from the “destinations” in the city. Wang Hao introduces that after Wangjing SOHO and Yintai, Tesla is negotiating with other commercial real estates as well, whose name are not supposed to be disclosed before the official announcement. But one thing for sure is that in the future, Tesla would consider the large-scale shopping malls with cinema, catering and entertainment facilities extensively. Wang Hao reveals that the biggest destination charging site in Beijing would provide dozens of charging stalls, which would be delivered in the next year. “The consumption power of Tesla owners is high, while the electric charges of charging for a whole night are only about 20 Yuan”. Andrew points out, the “north-to-south charging route” donated by him has not only charging poles specially for Tesla, but also standard 16A socket, thus they meet the charging demands BYD and other electric cars. “When the hotels start gaining benefits from aspects such as customer source etc., they would buy charging poles themselves, which could become a service trend”. In Andrew’s opinion, this action is the most effective way for Tesla’s charging in China—relying on a single spark to spread nationwide rather than depending on the large-scale supercharging stations established by the State Grid. Just on the day of this interview, Wang Hao paid a visit to Yintai Center. Apart from customizing several Tesla vehicles for the senior executives of Yintai, he also obtained another two stalls. These two would be set above ground designed with eyes catching signs of Tesla charging poles. “The senior executives of Yintai said that, they only want Tesla rather than BMW”. Wang Hao patted shoulder of the salesman and laughed.