Tesla Japan is having a contest that is ending on June 30. The lucky winners will get to experience Tesla’s clean and sustainable life in a setting that feels like a mini-vacation. Included in the prize is a free rental of a Tesla Model 3 and a short stay at the Old Private House Inn Kawanoo Otori.
— Tesla Japan (@teslamotorsjp) April 18, 2021
The inn is located in the mountains along the banks of the Kanna River, which is well known for its beautiful clear waters.
“You can experience Tesla’s clean and sustainable life while being surrounded by the sound of the water flowing through the river and nature.”
According to the terms and conditions, applicants are required to be valid Japanese driver’s license holders 25 or older when they enter the campaign and will not be paid. Once the winner is selected, they will have at least three months to plan their Tesla adventure.
Japan’s Focus On Battery-Powered EVs Needs To Become Stronger
Back in February, MarketWatch reported that Tesla was “a dud in Japan,” and noted that Tesla sold fewer than 2,000 vehicles in Japan last year. This followed our coverage last year calling Japan’s 0.7% EV market share extremely lame. Yes, fewer than 1% of new-vehicle registrations in 2019 were for EVs, and these include plug-in hybrids.
However, it’s not just that the Japanese aren’t too keen on Tesla. Japan is more focused on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and conventional hybrid vehicles.
Back in March, The New York Times wanted to know why Japan was so hesitant on EVs as the world was rushing to embrace them. The article noted that Japan has a huge investment in gasoline-electric hybrids, which may give the nation a major reason to proceed with caution.
Japan currently dominates the global market for hybrid vehicles and wants to leverage its investment in the technology for as long as possible. Masato Inoue, who designed the original Nissan Leaf, told The Times that Japan’s short-term focus was leaving its most important industry at the risk of missing a transformative moment.
“When disruption happens, there’s always fear,” said Inoue. “But ready or not, a big wave of electric vehicles is really coming.”
Editor’s note: Leaders in one technological era or transition are often laggards in the next one. As noted above, people often want to cling to their leadership position rather than accept that a new era is coming and do the work to lead in that one. I’ve been saying for years that this is a problem at Honda & Toyota, which have been EV laggards for years. I think that’s also the case with political leaders in Japan who are both proud of Honda & Toyota and influenced too much by their executives. There’s also some speculation about Japan’s interests in a “hydrogen economy.” But that’s a big can of worms and involves some strong assumptions. —Zach Shahan