Electric car rental service opens for Changsha residents
The Geely Holding Group, an automobile company headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, and Zhejiang-based Kandi Technologies have co-launched a “micro bus” concept in Hunan province and set up the first rental center for electric cars in Changsha on Dec 3.
Around 1,000 electric cars will be brought into the Changsha market by the end of 2014, adding a new travel tool for Changsha residents to choose, apart from the city’s buses, metro, and taxies. People with a driver’s license can rent such a car with a payment of 200 yuan per month.
The cars boast a similar vehicle type to Mercedes-Benz Smart cars, which are convenient for parking. More importantly, they feature zero-emissions and thus cause no pollution to the environment. They cost less than five yuan to drive a distance of 80 kilometers.
“Because the number of the cars is limited, they are only available for rent at the moment,” said Chen Weiqiang, chairman of Hunan Dadi New Energy Vehicles Company, which is responsible for the rental service of the “micro buses”.
Chen said that the maximum speed of the car can reach 80 km/hour and that it can go for 80 km on one charge. There are currently two-seat and four-seat types for the vehicle and a five-seat car which looks like a regular car will be developed in no time.
A two-seat Geely electric car [Photo by Wang Zhiwei/Changsha Evening News]
Charging has always been a difficulty for electric vehicles as they usually need a special battery. The Geely Automobile has made progress in their new products as these micro cars now only need a 220 V standard power outlet to charge up. Still, they take six to eight hours for one full charge.
According to Chen, 240 such electric cars have arrived in Changsha and are in the process of registering their licenses. A maximum of 1,000 cars can be launched in the city by the end of December, and the rental sites will be increased to five from the current two.
By Zhang Qiong, edited by Brian Salter
Source: Changsha Evening News