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Volunteers Help Set Up Ad Hoc Charging Network for Tesla Journey From Beijing to Guangzhou

Posted: 07/12/2014 3:33 pm

tesla charging stationWhen Andrew Zong bought one of the first commercially-available Tesla electric cars in China, he had a small problem:

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.

READ: Tesla to Expand to Guangzhou and Shenzhen Despite Customer Apathy

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.

Photo: Tesla


Tesla to Expand to Guangzhou and Shenzhen Despite Consumer Apathy

Posted: 07/7/2014 7:15 pm

tesla car electricNew LinkedIn job advertisements indicate boutique electric car maker Tesla may soon be coming to Guangzhou and Shenzhen, reports Car News China.

While Tesla itself hasn’t made an official announcement, their Linkedin profile lists jobs in the two PRD cities as well as Chengdu. This would be in addition to their one store in Beijing, and two others coming in Shanghai and Hangzhou.

But while Tesla is expanding fast in China, electric charging infrastructure may be struggling to keep up.

READ: Shenzhen Home to 50 of China’s Billionaires

Shenzhen invested RMB 1 billion in 2010 to build 89 charging stations and 29,500 charging piles, but only seven charging stations and 2,273 slow-charging piles were open by the end of 2013, reports Want China Times.

Furthermore, the electric car industry has been supported solely by government sales in recent years.  A high-level executive at one auto company who asked not to be identified told Caixin that fewer than 2,000 new electric cars have been sold to the general public since 2009.

electric car charging

But while electric charging facilities remain idle and customer interest remains weak, local authorities appear undeterred in their drive for more electric cars.

Shenzhen expects to have 25,000 electric vehicles on its roads by the end of next year. To meet this goal, it has ordered every new residential complex to provide charging facilities for electric cars regardless of whether any residents drive the vehicles, reports Investor Intel. Without the charging facilities, the apartments will not be allowed to go on sale.

READ: Six Million Cars to Be Taken Off Streets in China to Fight Pollution

But most tellingly, a massive market will be created once Elon Musk and Tesla build a gigafactory capable of producing batteries for 500,000 electric cars a year, reports the Economist.

With luxury car sales falling all across China, we can only assume Elon Musk knows what he’s doing.

tesla car electric


Photos: Car News China, Investor Intel, the Telegraph


Guangdong Protests Against Waste Incinerators Turn Violent

Posted: 06/19/2014 3:42 pm

guangdong garbage protestSeveral people were injured and detained when hundreds of homeowners in Panyu, south of Guangzhou, clashed with local authorities during a protest against the construction of a local waste disposal plant, reported Radio Free Asia.

Approximately 1,000 homeowners in the Fairview Peninsula protested on Wednesday by blocking traffic in and out of the facility located less than 20 meters from the local kindergarten.

Eyewitnesses say physical confrontations broke out between the protestors, police, and a large group of “unidentified men”, and that approximately ten protestors were taken away by police.

The homeowners are upset at not having been consulted or made aware of the new waste disposal plant prior to its construction.

A local resident named He said:

“We didn’t know anything about this until they began work on it, when we saw they had flattened that whole area. We feel as though we’ve been duped, and that this isn’t good … for our kids’ health.”

shenzhen smelliest garbage dump protest demonstration

Elsewhere in Guangdong, a protest against another garbage dump took place on Sunday in Shenzhen that also saw police clash with and detain local residents.

The residents of Wanke No. 5 Garden in Shenzhen’s Bantian district were protesting against the Qingshui River Xiaping landfill, which has become notorious lately due to its odor, something residents lampooned by awarding it the “smelliest landfill in history” an an earlier protest this month.

 READ: Students Wear Face Masks to Class to Combat Neigboring Stench

Environmental issues have become the leading cause of social unrest in China, replacing land disputes, Bloomberg has reported. And it’s a problem that is only increasing in scope: every year, China creates more than 360 million tons of waste, an amount that grows by 8% each year, reported China Dialogue.

Other recent Guangdong protests against garbage dumps have become successful. Protests in Puzhai and Shantou have resulted in the closure of waste incinerator plants last August and in January of this year, respectively.

However, other Guangdong citizens have benefited from their visits to Guangdong garbage dumps. Some 10,000 principals and headmasters of Guangdong schools and colleges visited a 78 meter-high landfill site in Guangdong on June 10.

Deputy headmaster Huang Yuying said the visit was a good chance for the educators to see how garbage from large urban areas is dealt with so that they can better teach students about environmental awareness and how to properly sort and dispose of refuse.

An ambulance with medical personnel were on hand during the visit in case visitors became overwhelmed by the smell.


Photos: RFA

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