Tesla Launches First Solar-Powered Supercharger in China

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Tesla announced plans to make all Superchargers run with 100% renewable energy this year, and the company has taken a new step in that direction in one region of the world’s largest auto market.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that U.S. electric automaker Tesla has installed its first solar Supercharger station in China, located in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, according to a Weibo post from the company on Wednesday.

Beyond being an automaker, Tesla began delving into solar power and energy storage with its acquisition of fellow California company SolarCity in 2016, purchased for $2.6 billion (USD). Tesla has since installed residential and commercial batteries and solar setups around the U.S. and in Australia.

Tibet, a largely impoverished and rural region, does not currently have a Tesla showroom, though the company says the nearby mountains provide plenty of sunlight to power the Supercharger – equating to over 3,000 hours per year. In contrast, most of China’s power grid is run by coal, not unlike that of the U.S.

In May, the Tesla Supercharging account announced the company had hit 25,000 Superchargers globally, and the company had built over 760 Supercharger stations in China as of March.

In addition to the Tibet solar-powered Supercharger, Tesla also recently built Superchargers leading to the Mount Everest Base Camp.