Tesla to face fierce EV rivalry in Israel

Tesla Tel Aviv pop-up store Photo: Eyal Izhar

1,500 Tesla electric cars reached Israel in April from the company's Chinese plant as rivals gear up to the challenge.

Israel's car market is booming and especially the electric vehicles segment. On the one hand there is Tesla and contesting them are a large number of Chinese rivals.

The Tesla electric vehicles now arriving in Israel come from the company's Chinese plants. According to the China passenger Car Association, 14,000 electric cars were exported from Tesla's three Chinese plants during April, of which 11%, or 1,500 were to Israel.

And Tesla is not alone. Its Chinese rivals in the electric vehicle market are challenging it with full force in Israel and there are at least 11 brands looking at regular exports, more than in any other western market.

"Globes" has already reported that Geely will begin marketing electric cars to Israel later this year and a source close to the matter says that the company is already preparing to set up a showroom in Tel Aviv. Union Motors will begin exports of a crossover with a 400 kilometer range between charging at a price of between NIS 150-170,000.

The cars will reach Israel complying with full EU standards. The showroom will be in Beit Toyota in Yigal Alon Street in Tel Aviv where Chinese company GAC (also imported by Union Motors) has its showrooms.

Israeli car importer Colmobil is also planning to join the electric vehicle fray and yesterday the first consignment of Hyundai Ionic 5 electric cars landed in Israel for inspection for standards ahead of marketing scheduled to start in July. The Ionic 5 is larger than the Tesla 3 and has a range of up to 480 kilometers between charges. Prices for the Ionic 5 in Europe are similar to those of the Tesla 3 and so prices in Israel are expected to start at about NIS 190-200,000.

According to registration data in Israel, only 363 Tesla cars are on Israel's roads. Another 1,500 Tesla electric cars from China were unloaded from ships last month but delivery to their owners was delayed by the security flare-up and only 200-300 of the cars would have been delivered by the end of May.

In June a consignment of Tesla cars is expected to reach Israel from the US, which will include some of the Tesla Y models for trials and evaluation but the Tesla spokesperson declined to confirm this.

Tesla this week opened its second recharging station in the Azrieli mall at the southern entrance to Haifa. The station has six charging points and can add a 120 kilometer range to the Tesla 3 within five minutes. More charging stations will open in the coming months.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 27, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

Tesla Tel Aviv pop-up store Photo: Eyal Izhar
Tesla Tel Aviv pop-up store Photo: Eyal Izhar
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