Reported last month by news.com.au, Hangzhou’s nine million residents will be encouraged to relinquish car ownership in favour of a greener solution – electric hire cars available on demand from giant vending machines! In this attempt to spearhead the problems of pollution, traffic congestion and overcrowding, all exacerbated by spiralling car ownership in China, Hangzhou is promoting the rental of the Kandi EV as a convenient and economical alternative.
The price is definitely right – rates are a flat $3.50/hour and you can return the car to any vacant spot. For those not quite ready to give up the (perceived) perks of ownership, long term leases are also available at around $150/month which gives you access to the cars, insurance, maintenance and all the electric charge you need.
The city of Hangzhou is partnering with the manufacturer of the Kandi, Geely Automotive, and intends to make 100,000 of the vehicles available for resident use. Meanwhile, there are plans to build 750 of these giant vending machines around the city, ranging in size from 30 to 300 vehicles. Fifty vending stations should be ready for business by March 2014.
For more on this innovative project, see this video by Aaron Rockett entitled, The Kandi Machine — China’s Sweet Pollution Solution.