kandi ev carsharing vending machineChina's cities are blanketed by toxic haze with air pollution that can shut down places like Beijing. Of course, there are many citizens who want to move from a scooter to a car, but that could create more pollution. In steps carsharing, and an idea from Kandi Technologies Group that its small electric vehicles could be part of the solution in the city of Hangzhou, an hour-long train ride from Shanghai.

Kandi produces a small, Smart-car like EV that can go 75 miles on a charge and reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour. Seems like boilerplate EV territory, right? Except that they're being stored in vending machine-like parking garages and can be rented for $3.25 per hour. See for yourself in the video below by filmmaker Aaron Rockett.

The EVs are stored in vending machine-like parking garages and can be rented for $3.25 per hour.

Through its joint venture with Geely Automotive, Kandi plans to build 750 (!) of these garages in Hangzhou over the next four years. This will be supported by the government and Kandi's 50-50 joint venture with Geely Automotive. Kandi wins, too, since it could supply up to 100,000 EVs to serve carsharers. If things work well in Hangzhou, this business model could spread to other Chinese cities and regions such as Shanghai, Shandong and Hainan.

Geely and Kandi started their joint venture early in 2013 with an initial investment of one billion yuan (about $160 million US). The idea has been to research, develop, produce and market EVs together, and the car-vending machine project could play an important role in where the companies go from here.



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  • 25 Comments
      eideard
      • 12 Hours Ago
      After a half-century of enviro activism I'm still embarrassed by religious zealots like Kyle. Today's breed of middle-class green peacocks are no less useless than was the typical Weather Underground anarchist. He learns a couple of slogans - little science and no economics. China's urban pollution IS coal-based. And mostly NOT from power generation. Exactly the same problem and solution required in urban UK BITD. Coal household fires for cooking and heating will be replaced with NatGas. When the enormous task of supply and distribution is completed. Meanwhile, sophomoronic whining aids neither knowledge or understanding.
        Ele Truk
        • 12 Hours Ago
        @eideard
        The environmental protection bureau confirmed that smoke from cooking did indeed pollute the city’s air, although on a minor level. According to the statistics from the bureau, 22 per cent of the pollution leading to PM2.5 particles in Beijing is from automobiles, 16.7 per cent from burning coal and 15.8 per cent from industrial dust. There is no specific data on smoke from cooking. Shamefaced officials deny cooking is main source of Beijing air pollution: http://www.scmp.com/news/china-insider/article/1328570/government-officials-deny-cooking-main-source-beijing-air
      Kyle
      • 12 Hours Ago
      small electric vehicles... which get their power from coal-fired power plants, contributing even more to the smog problem.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 12 Hours Ago
        @Kyle
        Don't mind him - he just stepped out of a time capsule from the early 1920's and doesn't know about solar panels, hydroelectric, nuclear power, natural gas, etc. I'm not sure how he figured out how to use a computer though - that's quite peculiar.
        • 12 Hours Ago
        @Kyle
        Kyle...Dont mind 2 Wheeled Menaces comment..We all know China is just loaded with Solar, Nuclear, Hydroelectric, and Natural Gas power plants. All the air pollution in China must be a "Naturally occuring phenomenon" Everyone knows the Chinese Government is the most enviromentally conscious nation on earth. Thats the problem with all of these TREE HUGGERS..as long as the are driving their Prius they think they are changing the world, but just do not realize all the forms they mentioned above will never replace fossil fuels, and even when nuclear or natural gas are mentioned as a real alternative they are they 1st ones protesting against it. Hypocrites....When was the last nuke plant built in this country? Over 30 years ago..thats when... and it is all because of people like this guy who only quotes facts that fit his current argument, and then change their views when they do not fit the next one. Don't mind him - he just stepped out of a time capsule from the early 1920's and doesn't know about solar panels, hydroelectric, nuclear power, natural gas, etc.
        clquake
        • 12 Hours Ago
        @Kyle
        And where does gasoline come from?
      heavychevy
      • 12 Hours Ago
      colleges in america should do this
      Ryan
      • 11 Months Ago
      Sounds like a much better pricing model than the car sharing services here in the US. Hell, it is even better than the crazy bike sharing prices and monthly fees that they have in the big cities of the US.
      Scooter
      • 11 Months Ago
      It's kind of a neat idea, but maybe not the cheapest. I could see it working extremely well for tourist, maybe not so much residents of said location.
        Thunderbuck
        • 12 Hours Ago
        @Scooter
        That depends. For a city-dweller who commutes to work by foot or bike, they may only need a car for the occasional errand or visit. This would work extremely well. ZipCar has started to pick up some steam. This vending machine idea would seem really useful for them.
      Smoking_dude
      • 12 Hours Ago
      In germany we have a similar carsharing with electric and gasoline smart cars. they can be found all around cities. especially the EV area is growing. you can just pick a smart, dou your shopping and park it where you can legally park. recharging is free and if one refills an almost empty car, one get bonus miles. it works very well especially with the electric smarts. they can be found even at the city border. it goes so well that daimler (using good tesla batteries) is adding more and more electric smarts.
      Justin
      • 12 Hours Ago
      Cool.
      ilmhmtu
      • 11 Months Ago
      This system would work well for people who have larger shopping trips, or instead of cabs.
        Ryan
        • 12 Hours Ago
        @ilmhmtu
        Look at Vegas, the taxi lobby will kill this in any city to maintain their status quo. Vegas won't extend the monorail to the airport, which would get lots more use if it was connected to the terminals.
      Bizzle
      • 12 Hours Ago
      I wonder if you ever get a 2-for-1. If your car gets stuck, just rock the machine.
      The Wasp
      • 11 Months Ago
      Dang. I wish US laws would allow this company to come set up some of these in the US. The garage setup would work with US-legal cars like the Nissan Leaf but I imagine the low cost car is an important factor in the low cost carsharing prices (imagine that).
      2 wheeled menace
      • 12 Hours Ago
      That's so cool. I wish we had the economic freedom and forward-looking attitude to do some of the things that a former developing country is doing today. In Europe, they also have these bicycle parking garages. Over here, we are still dealing with bike theft and haven't figured out how to solve it, or there is something else in the way. Here's what i think is standing in the way: 1) poor attitude. 2) distrust in government is reaching a peak; very few want to invest in this country because people feel that some big civil disarray is going to occur in the near future. 3) all sorts of safety regulations that unreasonably only accommodate established industries and modes of transportation; for example, we don't have a mid-speed vehicle classification; you can only operate a 4-5 star crash tested highway capable vehicle capable of doing 100mph or a NEV which is capable of doing only 25mph - nothing in between. 4) higher costs for everything since we rapidly and wastefully blew through our own resources long ago and have to depend on imports. 5) government is extremely corrupt by big players and is constantly maneuvered to prevent competition. 6) little manufacturing capability remains here in the USA compared to days of yore. We teach our young to be consumers and not producers like we used to. We could have a lot more elon musks, tesla's, edisons, etc if we didn't have that attitude.. ( insert long rant by Mike Rowe here )
        danfred311
        • 12 Hours Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        2WM, while USA has oceans of problems, try to remember that what you see in this video isn't great. It's crap cars in a country dying from pollution. Like all the other idiots they are overlooking the great opportunity in making a car aerodynamic, lightweight and fast, with fast charge to overcome range anxiety. Electric cars can easily sweep the nation but like USA they overlook blatantly obvious opportunities. I could easily tell then how but they don't have the wisdom to hire me.
      no1bondfan
      • 11 Months Ago
      This would be great in a city like LA, with lots of tourists that need a car for a short time, and limited public transportation.
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