Yes, you did read the headline correctly! The Chinese EV market has been taken to a whole different level with the introduction of an EV vending machine by EV manufacturer Kandi. At first glance the introduction of a vending machine may seem pointless, rather bizarre, and perhaps another example of some of the non-Western ideas which often emanate from the Far East. However we will now take you through the system, why it was introduced, and why many people believe this could be the first of a 500 strong network of electric vehicle vending machines.
One of the main reasons why this particular venture is proving to be so successful in its initial stages is because of the terrible situation with regards to smog in many of China's larger cities. Indeed the authorities have already considered giant vacuum cleaners to hoover-up the health challenging smog and police officers are already equipped with nose filters to reduce instances of lung damage. So, what does this new EV vending system entail?
Zero emission vehicles at £1.96 per hour
When we say vending machines that is exactly what we mean, with the Kandi zero emission vehicles stored within individual garages that are opened up when you pay with your credit card. The minute your payment is accepted the door will open, the vehicle will be before you - a vehicle which is capable of 75 miles per full charge and costs less than two pounds an hour. This offers extremely good value for money and the company already has plans to introduce a 500 strong network of these vending machines.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "There are some very interesting development in the world of EVs with rumors of new technology, more focus on charging stations and a promise of an affordable EV from Tesla within 4 years. With this in mind when do you expect to see full EV market penetration?"
The idea is that not only will they assist in improving the extremely low quality of air in many of China's major cities but they will also prove to be an extremely useful advertising tool. The Chinese government has already pledged to introduce in excess of 2 million electric vehicles by 2020 offering £40 billion in subsidies to give the country the best chance of hitting this target. We will likely see an array of new and innovative ideas in the months and years ahead, some of these will fall by the wayside but history shows that many ideas which emanate from China will go on to be repeated time and time again across the globe.
Health issues coming to the fore
The fact that in excess of 30,000 vehicles are sold on a daily basis in China, not to mention the 120 million car owners in the country, perfectly illustrates the growing problem for the Chinese authorities. Air quality across many of China's major cities is already rock bottom, there are major health concerns and it is proving a little difficult to convert the traditional motorist to an electronic powered counterpart. However the Chinese authorities are adamant they will convert the majority of traditional vehicle owners and they will improve the dire air-quality in some parts of the country.
The idea of tying in health issues with electric vehicles is not new but when you bear in mind the major problems across China we are not just talking about a new fashion for electric vehicles but a necessity to improve air quality. It would take a brave person to bet against the Chinese authorities because historically they get what they want, although this potential success story would benefit countries around the world due to improved technology and significant investment going forward.