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充电难,特斯拉中国遇挫

更新时间:2015-3-6 8:47:35 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Tesla's China Business Faces Varied Challenges
充电难,特斯拉中国遇挫

BEIJING — For $104,000, Yu Hangmei expected a car that could, at the very least, be driven. What Ms. Yu said she got instead was a new electric Tesla Model S sedan and a malfunctioning charging station.

北京——俞韩梅原本以为,花了65万元人民币,买到的车至少应该能开。不过,俞女士表示,自己得到的是一辆崭新的特斯拉Model S电动轿车,以及一根不能用的充电桩。

While driving through her town in coastal Zhejiang Province recently, Ms. Yu, 45, realized that even though she had plugged in the vehicle, the battery was almost dead. “I thought after a day of charging it was fully charged, but turns out it wasn’t charged at all,” said Ms. Yu, an artifact exporter. Tesla owners need an electric charger specifically calibrated to the vehicle’s voltage and current requirements, still something of a rarity near her home. “Luckily I bumped into a fellow Tesla owner online who let me charge at his place. It took three hours.”

不久前在沿海省份浙江的家乡开车时,45岁的俞女士意识到,虽然之前把车接上了插座,但电池还是基本没电。“我以为充了一天应该满了,结果根本就没充上,”从事商品出口业务的余女士称。特斯拉车主需要一种专门适配其电压与电流要求的充电器,而这一要求在她家附近仍然很少能得到满足。“幸亏我在网上碰到了另一个开特斯拉的人,让我到他那里去充电。花了三个小时。”

Tesla owners in China are a well-connected bunch. Not only do they tend to be wealthy, but their avid use of social media means word of such car problems can spread in minutes. And finding charging stations is a regular complaint.

中国的特斯拉车主是个有影响力的群体。他们不仅往往很富有,还喜欢使用社交网络。后者意味着,此类用车问题可以不一会儿功夫就传播开来。寻找充电桩是其中一个普遍的抱怨。

It is proving to be a major issue for Tesla’s grand designs in the world’s largest auto market.

事实证明,对于在中国这个世界最大的汽车市场中有宏大布局的特斯拉而言,充电是一个大问题。

China would seem to have all the right ingredients for Tesla, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif. The country has the second-highest number of millionaires worldwide, after the United States. And the government sees electric vehicles as a tool for fixing the nation’s notorious smog problem.

对总部位于美国加利福尼亚州帕洛阿尔托的特斯拉来说,中国似乎具备一切它需要的东西。这里有全球第二多的百万富豪,仅次于美国。中国政府也视电动车为解决其恶名远扬的雾霾问题的一种途径。

But the company has stumbled in China as it tried to attract customers. Worries about charging infrastructure and an official bias toward bolstering homegrown competition may have contributed to the company’s lackluster Chinese performance last year, which ended with the resignation of Tesla’s China president.

然而,在尽力吸引中国客户的过程中,公司却遭遇了麻烦。人们对充电基础设施的担忧,加上官方支持国产品牌竞争的偏袒,或许在一定程度上造成了特斯拉去年在中国市场上的平淡表现。这种业绩最终导致了特斯拉中国区总裁离职。

China is expected to be a trouble spot in Tesla's earnings, which the company is set to report on Wednesday. Speaking in Detroit last month, Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, acknowledged that sales in China were “unexpectedly weak” at the end of 2014. He blamed a “misperception about charging,” saying owners worried they would not be able to power up their vehicles at home.

公司定于周三公布财报,预计中国业务将成为其中拖后腿的部分。上个月在底特律讲话时,特斯拉的首席执行官埃隆·马斯克(Elon Musk)承认,截至2014年底在中国取得的销售额“出乎预料地疲软”。他将其归咎于“有关充电的误解”,称车主们担心不能在家充电。

Tesla is racing to get on Chinese maps. Since the carmaker began delivering its Model S sedans to China last April, it has built 52 free rapid Supercharger stations in 20 cities and set up about 800 other charging stations at malls, hotels and restaurants in over 70 cities. The Supercharger stations fully charge a car in about an hour.

特斯拉在争分夺秒地抢滩中国市场。自从去年4月开始向中国用户交付Model S电动轿车以来,特斯拉已在20座城市兴建了52座能提供免费快充服务的超级充电站,还在逾70座城市的商场、酒店和餐厅设立了大约800根充电桩。超级充电站可以在一小时左右的时间里为一辆车充满电。

There are now nine stores and service centers in metropolises like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, which is already one of Tesla’s highest grossing stores worldwide, the company reported in its third-quarter 2014 shareholder letter. The United States has over 60 Tesla stores and more than 40 service centers.

目前,特斯拉在北京、上海和深圳等大都市建有九座体验和服务中心。根据公司向股东发出的2014年第三季度业绩函,中国已经是世界范围内拥有中心数量最多的几个国家之一。美国有逾60家特斯拉门店及逾40家服务中心。

“In the past few months, Tesla has made great progress in China,” the company’s China office said in an email.

“在进入中国的半年时间里,特斯拉的发展取得了诸多成绩 ,”公司的中国办公室在邮件中这样写道。

But the results have been tepid. So far, Tesla has exported around 3,500 cars to China, missing the company’s sales goal of 5,000 in the country, which accounts for 30 percent of its global target. Over all, some 80,000 electric and hybrid vehicles were sold in the country last year, according to Yale Zhang, the managing director of Automotive Foresight, a consulting firm in Shanghai.

不过,它的业绩并不亮眼。迄今为止,特斯拉向中国的出口量为3500辆左右,未能达到为这一市场设立的5000辆销售目标——这一数字占到公司全球目标的30%。上海咨询公司汽车市场预测(Automotive Foresight)的总监张豫(Yale Zhang)表示,电动车与混合动力车加起来,去年在中国市场总共售出了大概8万辆。

The Chinese government aims to put half a million electric cars or plug-in hybrids on the roads by this year and five million by 2020. To encourage drivers to go green, domestic electric cars receive a combined subsidy from the central and local governments of 120,000 renminbi, or about $19,000. While Tesla owners are not eligible for those subsidies because the cars are foreign-made, the city of Shanghai offers free license plates for all electric car brands, saving drivers around $12,000 in fees. These include 400 Tesla owners who received the plates in October.

中国政府的目标是,今年让50万辆电动车及插电式混合动力车上路,到2020年则是500万辆。为了鼓励车主绿色出行,国产品牌的电动车可以从中央和地方政府那里获得共12万元人民币的补贴。由于特斯拉为国外生产的车辆,车主不能享受这样的补贴,但上海市出台的为所有电动车免除牌照费的规定,能为他们省下7.5万元左右的费用。去年10月,拿到免费牌照的车主中,就包括400名特斯拉用户。

However, given the six-figure price tag — compared with $70,000 in the United States — the lack of subsidies is not a dealbreaker for Chinese Tesla owners. “Frankly, it really makes no difference to the people who can afford a Tesla,” Mr. Zhang said. “Tesla has succeeded not as a popular model but by being perceived as a rich person’s toy.”

不过,考虑到特斯拉六位数的价签——相比之下在美国的售价则为7万美元(约合44万元人民币)——缺乏补贴并不会让中国车主望而却步。“说实话,对于能买得起特斯拉的人,这也没什么区别,”张豫说。“特斯拉的成功,不是因为车受欢迎,而是因为被人看成富人的玩具。”

A bigger concern for them is where to charge their vehicles. Unlike car owners in the United States, many of whom live in houses with a garage, the majority of Chinese urban housing consists of low-rise multifamily units. Thus, installing residential charging facilities means negotiating with property managers or neighbors.

在他们看来,更大的问题是到哪里去给车充电。美国的小汽车所有者中,许多人居住的房子都有车库,而大多数中国城市的住房是由多户人家共用的低层单元楼。因此,安装家庭充电设施意味着要与物业经理或邻居进行协商。

Xie Yujian, 39, the owner of an international trading company in coastal Hangzhou, parks four of his cars at his apartment garage but had the Tesla charger installed at his factory. “I heard you have to apply with the property company to get that type of wiring so I just couldn’t be bothered,” he said.

39岁的谢玉坚在沿海的杭州市经营着一家国际贸易公司,他把自己的四辆车停在公寓的车库里,但在自己的工厂里安装了特斯拉的充电器。“我听说必须向物业公司申请,才能架设这种线路,我不愿意找这个麻烦,”他说。

Mr. Xie enjoys taking his Tesla on short trips, though not the wait that comes with recharging. In Hangzhou, it takes him two to three hours total for supercharging, including the journey, he said. “I think this is probably one of the biggest challenges Tesla has to overcome.”

谢玉坚喜欢驾驶他的特斯拉进行短途旅行,但不喜欢充电需要的等待。他说,在杭州,用超级充电站充电总共需要两到三小时的时间,包括路上的时间。“我认为这可能是特斯拉需要克服的最大挑战之一。”

Tesla is hampered by concerns over its relatively tiny charging network compared with traditional gas stations or charging stations in overseas markets. While China has 52 free Supercharger stations, it lags Europe, which has over 120, as well as the United States, home to more than 150.

与传统的加油站和海外的充电站相比,特斯拉在中国的充电网络相对较小,这阻碍了特斯拉的普及。尽管中国拥有52个免费的超级充电站,但这个数量远远落后于欧洲和美国,欧洲有超过120个这样的充电站,而美国则有超过150个。

“It will take time to build out a comprehensive charging infrastructure across the whole country,” Tesla’s China office said.

“在全国范围打造综合的充电基础设施需要花费一定的时间,”特斯拉的中国办公室说。

In addition to building more Supercharger stations, Tesla plans to deliver to China high-power wall chargers for home use in the first half of this year. These will reduce the time it takes to achieve a full charge — which lasts 310 miles — to five hours, from 10.

除了建造更多超级充电站,特斯拉还计划在今年上半年向中国提供大功率的家用墙体充电器。这些充电器把为一辆车充满电所需的时间从10小时减少到了5小时。一次充满电后,特斯拉汽车可以连续行驶310英里(约合500公里)。

But current drivers have already found a workaround of sorts for their charging needs. Hundreds of Tesla owners are members of group chats on the popular social messaging platforms QQ and Weixin, which they use to talk shop, share complaints with upper management and arrange to charge their cars at one another’s homes. They call it “stealing electricity.”

但当下,司机已经为自己的充电需求找到了各种变通方案。在颇受欢迎的社交即时通讯平台QQ和微信上,数百名特斯拉车主加入了群聊,利用这些平台交流、分享对上层管理的不满以及安排去彼此家里充电。他们称之为“偷电”。

Xiao Zufu, 44, who works in brand sales, needed to do just that on a recent trip from his home in Zhejiang Province to Shanghai, about 380 kilometers or 236 miles away. In an unfamiliar town and his battery down to about 60 kilometers of charge left, he used QQ to find a fellow Tesla owner nearby who let him charge his battery.

44岁的萧祖付从事的是品牌销售工作。前不久从浙江的家里开车去大约380公里外的上海时,他就需要这么做。当时,在一个人生地不熟的城镇中,他的电池所剩电量只够再行驶大约60公里。于是他通过QQ找到了附近的一名特斯拉车主,对方让他给电池充上了电。

“It was a bit embarrassing,” he said. “If I’m driving a diesel car, even if the light has turned yellow I’m confident there’s still about 50 kilometers left in the car. But with electric cars I don’t really know for sure.”

“有点尴尬,”他说。“如果我开的是柴油车,即便是亮了黄灯,我也有把握还能再开大约50公里。但对电动汽车,我就真的不确定了。”

Still, most Tesla drivers appear to be forgiving of the company’s growing pains, particularly those among China’s equivalent of Silicon Valley. “We chose to be lab rats,” said Chen Zhong, 32, the chief marketing officer of an online media company in Beijing who bought a Tesla Model S last year. For these early adopters with money to spend, the car symbolizes the high-tech culture they adore. “The first time I drove it I thought I was driving an iPad.” Owning a Tesla, he added, “makes us Internet technology people feel superior.”

但大部分特斯拉司机,似乎都原谅了该公司给人带来的日渐增多的麻烦,特别是相当于中国的硅谷一族的那些人。“我们选择了当小白鼠,”32岁的陈中说。去年,在北京一家网络媒体公司担任首席市场官的他买了一辆特斯拉Model S。对于这些较早购买特斯拉的多金人士而言,这款车象征着他们所崇尚的高科技文化。“第一次开的时候,我感觉开的是一台iPad。”他还说,有一辆特斯拉“让我们互联网技术人感到高人一等”。

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