Tesla's Promotional Video for China Seems to Forget One Very Important Aspect

Back in September last year, China had to shut down hundreds of factories and pull over millions of cars for a few days in advance just so its Beijing military parade could be watched by the public against a blue sky. So saying that China has a situation with its air pollution is like saying England's weather is slightly rainy.
Tesla Chinese commercial 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
It took several days of almost complete shutdown just to see the sky's true color - that's hard to imagine for those of us who wake up with the sun splashing on their faces almost every day, but it's the stark reality. Chinese cities are a pollution hazard to their inhabitants, and the authorities are starting to realize that something needs to be done about it.

Obviously, electric cars are part of the plan, and Tesla is there to capitalize on what will undoubtedly be a very profitable market, something confirmed yet again by the Model 3 launch: China was the second biggest contributing nation to the 400,000 registrations. Tesla is also considering China as the location for one of its future factories, so a lot will be hanging on how the brand is received over there.

Tesla has already sold a few thousand Model S cars in China, and Model X deliveries are set to begin shortly, so it has definitely set a foothold there. But now it needs to build on the initial success by making sure the Chinese will associate electric cars in general with its products. To do that, it has released a two-minute long promotional video that focuses on the benefits of driving an EV.

Using the tried and tested testimonial technique, the ad features a few happy Tesla owners talking about what it is that makes their cars so great. "If everyone were to drive electric cars, the sky would be blue again," says one of them, and that must seem like a very attractive prospect for everyone living in a Chinese city. Except it's a lie.

Well, it's not a lie, but a truncated truth. If all vehicles inside a city were electrical, the sky might indeed be blue, but since China still relies heavily on coal to generate power, it would simply move pollution to a different destination, and not solve the problem.

If anything, a big surge of EVs on Chinese streets would only increase the energy requirements, and whether that would raise pollution levels even further or not depends only on the decisions of the country's government. But as things are standing right now, China is probably the only country where driving an electrical car is just as bad for the environment as using a regular one.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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