Tesla gives in, adds local charging ports on Chinese Model S, Model X electric cars


2017 Tesla Model 3, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

2017 Tesla Model 3, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

The national EV charging network in China is growing by leaps and bounds, but that expansion has not been as standardized as in the U.S. or Europe.

According to an article in October by Electrek, the confusion may get a little bit easier to navigate because Tesla will adopt a two-adapter system for Model S and Model X electric cars to be sold in China.

This change means future Teslas in China will look almost as if they have a common gas door; it covers a new port on the left-hand rear side of the car.

CHECK OUT: Tesla opens second huge China charging station for 50 electric cars

In other words, no more tidy little two-prong port hidden behind the reflector flap that forms the side piece of the left taillight.

China’s fast-charging standard is called GBT 20234, and it differs from the CHAdeMO and Combined Charging System standards that are used in the rest of the world.

A few observers have even speculated that one day it will become a single global standard, but Tesla’s charging system in China has been a point of contention for years now.

2012 Tesla Model S

2012 Tesla Model S

Three years ago, Tesla's general manager for the China region, Zhu Xiaotong, said that, “Solving the charging problem is the top priority in promoting pure-electric cars.

"Tesla will fully cooperate on the development of the national standards and construction of public charging infrastructure," Zhu added.

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A March report on the state of electric-car charging in China said the number of "public charging piles” (plugs) grew from 1,122 to 150,000 from 2010 to 2016.

With around 170,000 private charging plugs also installed, there are now well over 300,000 charging locations in China.

The goal, though, is a 1-to-1 ratio between electric cars and charging plugs by 2020, when the country hopes to have around 5 million EVs on its roads.

That means an exponential increase in the number of plugs in very short order.

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