It looks like Tesla is working hard to find out a better way to expand in the Chinese market. For example starting on 09/18/2014, cooperating with Uber, Tesla introduced a service to let customer hire the Model S as taxi in Shenzhen, China. As of today, Uber’s Tesla taxi service has been expanded to other cities in China. Below is a Uber Tesla Model S P85 in Shenzhen.
Today, Wuhan – another city in China, released its plan to add another 1,110 electric cars into the city taxi fleet. Among these 1,110 electric vehicles, 100 are the Tesla Model S 85, and the taxi operation is assigned to Tri-Ring Auto (a company specialized in running the taxi fleet).
10 Model S will be in service by the end of this month, and the rest 90 units will be ready by the end of this August.
Despite the high MSRP of the Model S, the taxi fare will be very affordable in Wuhan. For each ride its starting price will be around RMB 16 – 25 (USD $2.6 – $4), during the trip, there will be RMB 3.5 – 4 per kilometer (around USD 56 – 65 cents/km).
While it may dilute Tesla Motor’s brand image to use lots of Model S as taxi, it is a good way to advertise the Tesla brand, and to optimize its business model in China market.