The Model S will sell for $121,300 USD in China

Tesla Motors has been impressing an American audience with its electric Model S sedan, as sales continue to exceed expectations. But the EV is making its way to China, and Chinese competitors don't seem to share those opinions.

According to International Business Times, Chinese company BYD Auto isn't as optimistic that China will buy up Model S' the way Americans have. In fact, BYD CEO Wang Chuanfu said the Model S is a “rich man’s toy” rather than a practical vehicle in the Chinese market. 

BYD is a major automaker in China, and creates eco-friendly cars like Tesla. It's rolling out its plug-in hybrid called Qin, which can run 41 miles on electricity alone. 

Wang said demand for the Qin exceeds supply right now. The vehicle started selling in Shenzhen in December for around $31,200 USD.

Tesla's Model S, on the other hand, is nowhere near that price range in China. The base price of a Model S in the U.S. is about $69,900 USD, but in China, it's around $121,300 USD. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that the high price is due to the cost of delivery, Chinese import duties and the Chinese value-added tax.

Tesla has said that it'd like to partake in China's EV subsidies, but realizes that it doesn't qualify because the Model S is an import. 

Wang Chuanfu [SOURCE: The New York Times]

“We understand we don’t qualify for direct subsidies,” said Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s VP of Business Development. “We’re hoping the government will consider the role Tesla can have in catalyzing electric vehicle adoption in China and extend those incentives to Model S as well."

The Model S will be sold in China starting next month, and subsidies for EVs will reportedly be cut much further than previously planned. Even though Tesla isn't eligible for the subsidies, it's a good start for potentially increased EV adoption.
China’s finance ministry said that subsidies would only be cut 5 percent this year, as opposed to 10 percent. In 2015, subsidies will be cut by another 10 percent as opposed to a previously planned 20 percent. 

Tesla has some big plans for China, as CEO Elon Musk recently said that China might match the U.S. in volume "as early as next year."
But BYD doesn't seem very threatened by Tesla's presence. The Chinese company makes only one all-electric car, the e6, and it hasn't seen impressive sales due to lagging interest in all-electrics in China. It's possible that BYD only has one all-electric vehicle for this reason, and doesn't see China wanting to spend Tesla' prices to have one. 

Tesla shares rose $34.65 to close at $252.30 Tuesday, and kept rising in premarket trading early Wednesday hitting $258.60. 

Back in 2008, BYD launched the world's first mass-produced plug-in hybrid. It was the F3DM plug-in hybrid, which had a full electric range of 60 miles on a full battery. The lithium-ion batteries could be charged fully in seven hours.

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