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Tesla Motors, Clearing the Air in China?

Can Shanghai Benefit from Tesla Motors?
Can Shanghai Benefit from Tesla Motors?

Moving Tesla Motors manufacturing to China could bring that price down, but the Chinese nouveau-riche love their import luxury cars. In fact, one Chinese investor recently ordered 100 Tesla Model S to be shipped, but not before being convertible-converted by Newport Convertible Engineering, adding between $29,900 and $49,900 to the price of each car.

Tesla Motors, of course, only designs and builds emissions-free pure electric vehicles. Right now, China could use emissions-free as it continues the fight against choking and killing smog from the two main sources of emissions in most countries, coal-fired power production and poorly regulated transportation. Could Tesla Motors’ presence in China help clear the air?

Unfortunately, unless China takes some drastic measures to switch to renewable energy and dump fossil fuel power, there will be no air-clearing. It has often been stated that electric vehicles, such as the Tesla Model S, simply push pollution and emissions up the line to the power producers. This is absolutely true. Even in the United States, electric vehicle emissions can vary widely. In China, where 67% of her energy comes from coal, the addition of electric vehicles will only shift emissions from gasoline to coal. Even by 2030, China’s energy mix is expected to be nearly 40% coal. Tesla Motors’ only saving grace will be if 100% free-to-charge Tesla Superchargers in China are also 100% solar powered.

Have another point of view? Let us know in the comments section.

Photo credit: Sunset Noir / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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