Tesla 'Recalling' 285,000 Vehicles in China Over Autopilot Issue

The Chinese Communist Party seems to have it out for Tesla. Following bans that prohibited the brand’s vehicles from parking themselves anywhere near a military base, China’s government has decided to recall over 285,000 Tesla automobiles sold in the country. We’ve also seen state-run media outlets begin branding the automaker as irresponsible and arrogant amid consumer protests some are concerned might have been staged for political reasons. Though it’s painfully hard to get inside the head of the CCP while you hope for concrete evidence of any of the above. Propagandizing and censorship have reached a level where just about everyone is having difficulties distinguishing up from down.

What is certain, however, is that Tesla’s regional volume has taken a noteworthy hit in 2021 despite sales more than doubling the previous year. While this may have nothing to do with the bad publicity and recall campaigns, we’re betting the latest example — which pertains to customers misusing Autopilot — won’t help matters.

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Report: Chinese EV Subsidies May Be Coming Back

It could be argued that a large portion of the Chinese economy has been propped up by government programs, with electric vehicles making one of the best examples. With a vested interest in battery technology, China did everything it could to encourage industry players to focus on EVs while subsidizing their purchase by consumers. The end result was a country with the highest number of alternative-energy vehicles in the world — and more automotive automotive startups than it knew what to do with.

While the plan was always to force accelerated competition by getting new manufacturing firms to duke it out for supremacy, EV sales were also supposed to remain sky high. Yet they didn’t. China’s auto market began running out of steam far earlier than everyone assumed. When the country nixed electric-vehicle subsidies over the summer, the segment went into a tailspin, with every successive month returning negative growth.

China would like to see things turn around, so it’s mulling the prospect of reintroducing incentives to get EVs into more driveways.

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The More You Know: There Are at Least 487 Electric Vehicle Manufacturers in China Right Now

We’ve mentioned Chinese startups working on electric vehicles in the past. You’ve got the American-based (but Chinese-owned) Faraday Future that couldn’t pay its bills, its big brother LeSEE (which is facing similar troubles), the performance-focused NIO, the luxury-minded Byton, the German-named Weltmeister, and a handful of others making ink every so often.

While EV startups from other countries (Tesla, Rimac, etc.) garner their own headlines, it’s more common to see a Chinese startup angling for media exposure as of late.

Of course, established automakers are busy setting up their own electric divisions to fulfill the nearly absent Western consumer demand for EVs. They’re gambling on a future where electrification replaces internal combustion, but nobody is betting more on “green” than China. As of today, it’s estimated that the country has 487 electric car companies, and the nation feels this still isn’t enough. Holy shit.

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  • Jbawden My wife has a model 3 performance, its plenty fast, and while looks are subjective, I think it's nice looking. But, I stand solidly behind my comment that these are soulless appliances. Unprecedented performance cannot overcome what was lost when we remove ICE motivation. For the record I think BEV are great, I've owned one for almost 2 years, but let's stop drinking the unicorn kool-aid and pretending BEV are just as engaging as what they are replacing.
  • Dwford The first all new Dodge in 8-10 years and it's a quick rebadge of an Alfa Romeo. And the people at Stellantis are mad at US??? They aren't serious about restoring Dodge or Chrysler.
  • MaintenanceCosts Want a near-new Cadillac Brougham? Are marshmallow suspension, indifferent interior build and material quality, and very large size your jam? Then this is your car.I like the idea of a totally anonymous luxury sedan but I do not like the K900's seasickness-inducing suspension tuning. Not at all.
  • Ajla "Overall length for the K9 was 201.6 inches"For the author's reference that is 3 inches longer than the 1987 Bonneville.
  • Dwford Everyone is worried about the public stations, but why don't we focus on the low hanging fruit: home charging? I see Rivians at the local public charger. You're telling me that that person isn't also a homeowner? The first thing I did when I put a deposit on my EV was call my electrician. The charger was installed before the car got here. you'll never see me at a public charger unless I have to drive out of state for some reason. Is the government mandating that all new homes include the wiring needed for EV charging? Nope. The amount it would cost to run a 240v line to the garage or driveway side of the house would be very minimal. Same with solar. Is the government mandating all new homes be built with solar panels? Nope.