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Attack of the Chinese Tesla Clones

Attack of the Chinese Tesla Clones WIRED


In China, though, where non-union labor remains cheap, supply chains are as supple as they are massive, and attitudes toward intellectual property are quite lax, some aspiring auto barons think they can undercut Tesla by, well, ripping off Tesla. These brash entrepreneurs plan to build near carbon copies of the Model S and sell them for significantly less than the real thing.

Tesla isn’t alone in fighting counterfeiters. Land Rover tried and failed to stop a Chinese firm from producing a mirror-image of its popular Evoque SUV. But those looking to crib from Musk are aided by the fact Tesla made much of the technology underpinning the sedan open-source. And demand for EVs is mounting. The exploding market for automobiles raises grave concerns about air pollution and climate change, which is why Beijing wants to see five million “new energy cars” throughout China by 2020. Tesla’s at a disadvantage there, because its cars are subjected to high taxes in China and aren’t granted the same tax breaks awarded to home-grown EVs.

Musk is eager to expand in China, but may well fall victim to the clone war.

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5 million new energy vehicles by 2020 seems aggressive, in a good way. 

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