Tesla opens solar charging station in Tibet, its first in China

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FILE PHOTO: Tesla managers demonstrate V3 superchargers on German research campus in Berlin

BEIJING (Reuters) -U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc has opened a solar-powered charging station with on-site power storage in the Tibetan capital Lhasa, the company said in a Weibo post on Wednesday, its first such facility in China.

Tesla does not have a showroom in Tibet, a remote and long-impoverished region. In its post, the company cited the ample sunlight in the mountainous area as behind the move.

China is Tesla’s second-biggest market, but the charging site is its first in the country with dedicated solar power and on-site power storage. China’s power grid is predominantly fueled by coal.

The carmaker moved into the solar business in 2016 with its $2.6 billion purchase of California-based SolarCity, and has said it is keen to develop its energy business.

The company’s solar services include Solar Roof, a power generating system meant to look like normal roof tiles, and Powerwall, which can store power generated by solar panels.

Last year, Tesla, which makes electric vehicles in Shanghai, put out job advertisements for solar and energy storage project managers in China.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Jan Harvey)

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