Innovation That Matters

China creates giant vending machine dispensing electric cars for rent


Kandi Technologies has developed a gigantic vending machine stocked with cars, delivered on-demand as part of an electric vehicle sharing program.

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Vending machines are incredibly versatile things, and in the past Springwise has seen it’s fair share of odd adaptations — from underwear-dispensing devices to machines rigged to offer free beer. Never one to be outdone, China’s Kandi Technologies has developed a gigantic version stocked with cars, delivered on-demand as part of an electric vehicle sharing program.

Located in the city of Hangzhou, in the east of the country, the first of the buildings have already opened for business, where citizens can take advantage of a Zipcar-style sharing system. Participants in the scheme receive a card linked to their account, and by visiting one of the facilities and swiping the card, the machines inside each building then automatically deliver one of Kandi’s electric cars to the ground floor. For around CNY 20, users can borrow the vehicle for an hour. Kandi hopes to have 50 of the facilities opened by March this year, with 750 garages — equal to 100,000 cars — planned in total for Hangzhou. The system is one step towards helping China reach its target of 2 million EVs on its streets by 2020 in an attempt to tackle current levels of toxic smog and air pollution in the country. The video below offers some more context about the new scheme:

While Volkswagen has also trialled its own car vending machine in Germany in the past, the new Kandi scheme could be vital for making electric cars and vehicle sharing both prominent and engaging for residents needing a short-term travel option. Could this work in your part of the world?



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