Tesla Close to Debut of Longer Range Model 3 in China

Tesla has announced it plans to extend it’s lineup in China by offering a Model 3 Sedan that’s locally built with a longer driving range. They will start as early as this week. The vehicle will have a range of more than 400 miles on one charge, compared to its current basic version that holds much less.

The price will start around $45,800 before rebates, although exact pricing is yet to be determined. A longer range could help Tesla fend of competition with other brands such as Volkswagen Group and BMW who are also bringing out new electrified models in the China region.  Automakers are counting on new vehicles to spur demand in the market, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The longer range Model 3 will qualify for electric- vehicle subsidies, and is exempt from China’s sales tax on cars. Registrations of Tesla vehicles have fallen for the past two months in China, showing the carmaker is also suffering from the broader auto industry decline. The slowdown has come amid Tesla’s multibillion-dollar push to expand in the world’s largest electric vehicle market.

Tesla’s factory in China has recovered from a virus-related shutdown better than most in the industry, helped by aid from local authorities. After resuming operations at its Shanghai plant, Tesla’s outside the United States have surpassed the capacity it had before shut down. It has a weekly production reaching about 3,000 cars, the company said last month.