The Kandi Technologies Group, in China, runs an electric car sharing service, and it refers to these giant edifices as Kandi Machines!
A couple of years ago, when I covered the 2013 New York Auto Show, I referred to it as “The Green Candy Store,” even though the only electric car I got to ride around in was the Nissan LEAF. I knew I should have trademarked that name! Still, the next time you go to the mall or the market, take a look at one of the candy machines. You put in some cash, press a couple buttons, and out pops a treat, just like a monkey pressing a button!
Now, imagine sizing the candy machine up by two or three orders of magnitude, and you get the idea behind the Kandi Machine, because the Kandis are huge! This Kandi Machine dispenses small electric cars, about the size of a Smart fortwo ED (who came up with that ridiculous abbreviation, anyway?), weigh in somewhere around 2,000 pounds. To pay for the car-sharing service, sharers pay around $3/hr, and the automated parking garage dispenses a fully-charged electric car, albeit with a bit more grace than a regular-sized candy machine!
As China’s economy expands, the country has paid a heavy price in air quality, and the country is moving to electric vehicles in a big way, or at least is encouraging the move, with government incentives and outright strong-arming. For those who can’t afford an electric car of their own, or at least a new green car, electric car sharing services, such as Kandi Technologies Group’s Kandi Machines, could be the best way to encourage at least green transportation. Additionally, Kandi Technologies Group plans to expand its car-sharing service to 15 cities this year, and will begin selling electric cars direct.