When I picked up my Tesla in Beijing, I realized that it’s impossible to drive it back to Guangzhou as there are hardly any places to recharge the batteries.
While Shanghai and Beijing are struggling to set up electric car charging facilities, there is nothing available in the 5,750 kilometres along the highway between Beijing and Guangzhou.
But that wasn’t going to deter Zong, the CEO of heat pump manufacturer PHNIX, who handily solved the problem by establishing his own charging network, reports Yahoo News. Zong bought a stock of battery piles and took to the internet, looking for volunteers that could help him recharge his new Tesla at their homes. In three days, Zong attracted some 20,000 interested respondents online, but only needed twenty volunteers.
Using this ad hoc charging network, Zong and his friends were able to drive the new Tesla from Beijing to Guangzhou in just twenty days.
While Yahoo calls this the first “electric car charging network from north to south China”, we would be remiss to point out that this network only temporarily existed for one single car. None of these private locations remain available for public use. That said, Zong remains flush with confidence, saying:
The true value of this action is to tell everyone: as long as more and more people are involved, a network of charging piles across China will soon be set up and this could form a more eco-friendly lifestyle for China.
To do his part, Zong has has ordered 20 Teslas to give to his employees as rewards and has built 60 charging parking spots at his own factories.