BEIJING: Tesla Inc said on Friday its Chinese-built Model 3 cars would receive state subsidies, a move that will help the U.S. electric vehicle maker's push into the world's biggest auto market.
China's industry ministry had earlier said Tesla's Model 3 cars, being built at its US$2 billion factory in Shanghai, were on a list recommended for subsidies for new energy vehicles (NEVs), which include plug-in hybrids, battery-only electric vehicles and those powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Tesla said in a statement the subsidies had been secured.
Two variants of Tesla Model 3 vehicles are on the list for the generous NEV subsidy programme, according to the website of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The California-based electric vehicle maker aims to make more than 1,000 vehicles a week by the end of 2019 for it Shanghai plant and deliver the China-made vehicles before the Chinese new year on Jan. 25.
The annual capacity at the factory in its first phase is expected to reach 250,000 vehicles, equivalent to about 4,800 a week. This will include 150,000 Model 3 cars.
It was not immediately clear how much of a subsidy the vehicles would receive. The starting price for China-made Model 3 cars is 355,800 yuan (US$50,550), according to Tesla's website.
China hopes sales of NEVs which constituted around 4.6per cent of overall market in 2018, can reach a quarter of car sales in 2025.
Tesla, led by billionaire Elon Musk, is planning a broad after-sales network in China.
(US$1 = 7.0389 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Edmund Blair)