Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) recently delivered its first electric cars in China, and now, to boost its presence further, the company has made an agreement with eHi Car Services and Alibaba Group. As per a report from the Want China Times, the company’s clients can now make payments online from anywhere in China, along with being able to rent the electric vehicles through eHi.
Tesla could partner with China Unicom
Customers can now order Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) cars and can pay for them using Alipay, which is Alibaba’s third-party payment platform. eHi has bought two Tesla Model S electric cars and might buy more of those in May for its car rental services.
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According to reports, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will also collaborate with China Unicom. This telecom giant would offer access to the vehicles’ related information services. The rising popularity of Tesla has helped Unicom shares surge by 9% after the release of the report.
CEO Elon Musk has estimated that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will be able to sell about 30,000 electric cars globally, and of those, 5,000 would go to China. It has plans of setting up production lines and a car charging station network in the region, which means that Musk is highly optimistic on the sales of electric cars in China.
China’s electric car market could double this year
The electric vehicles market in China has been moving forward slowly for some years now. Domestic electric car models have been produced by BYD Auto and Great Wall Motor, but there has been stagnation in overall sales.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers has claimed that about 14,600 electric vehicles were sold in 2013 in China, and those did not account for even 1% of the total sales. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) sold 23,500 cars in 2013, and total electric car sales in China lagged behind this figure. In China, the public has not been able to make use of electric cars, and most of the vehicles are under government or commercial use.
China has been successful at raising the number of units sold by a considerable amount over the last quarter. In the first quarter of 2014, 4,095 electric vehicles have been sold there. It has been reported that sales will see a sharp rise and will actually double in 2104 to 30,000 cars. The Chinese government has undertaken some energy-saving initiatives and came up with environmental protection policies which would be a major reason behind the doubling of sales.