Last month, we reported that Tesla has 80% market share of Hong Kong’s growing electric vehicle market. Yet, that’s only ~1% of the city’s entire automotive market. Now the automaker aims to double its impact and dominance in the EV market by introducing its all-electric SUV, the Model X, in Hong Kong.
The company started taking orders for the Right-Hand Drive (RHD) Model X in Hong Kong in July after years of reservations. Those who turned their reservations into orders should get the vehicle by the end of the year or early 2017 at the latest, according to Tesla.
At an event for the launch of the vehicle and for reservation holders to test it, Isabel Fan, regional director for Tesla Hong Kong, explained that the company expects to have as much success with the Model X in Hong Kong as it currently has with the Model S because three of the six best-selling gas-powered vehicles in the city last year were SUVs.
She told the South China Morning Post:
“The majority of families in Hong Kong only own one car, and customers see the Model X as an ideal family car as it is more spacious and fits more people [compared to a sedan]. Furthermore, the total cost of ownership is great because they save on petrol and [have access to] charging infrastructure,”
When asked about potential competition in the city, Robin Ren, vice-president for Asia-Pacific at Tesla, said:
“I don’t think [Tesla] needs to worry about competition at this point. We are confident about our technology. Less than 0.2 per cent of the cars sold globally last year were electric vehicles … so there is a lot of opportunity in the market.”
All-electric cars imported in the city benefit from a 100% waiver on first registration taxes, which can be pretty steep in Hong Kong resulting in an edge for electric vehicles. The program will be revised next year and as we reported last month, German automakers have been lobbying for the government to include plug-in hybrids in the program citing that they were giving an unfair advantage to all-electric vehicles like Tesla’s.
In the meantime, Tesla will be looking to deliver as many Model X’s as possible in Hong Kong where the vehicle starts HK$610,200 ($79,000).