Kandi Technologies car vending machine.
The company, Kandi Technologies is based in Hangzhou, China. They want to challenge the idea of traditional car ownership. In a country where air pollution is a serious environmental and health hazard, the company has created a giant vending machine that allows citizens to rent electric vehicles on an hourly basis. With a fleet of more than 100,000, Kandi already has plans to expand to other cities this year.
The giant vending machines, which are already operational in some part of Hangzhou, can hold between 30 and 300 cars each, and give you access to an electric vehicle for just $3.25 an hour. Built in partnership with Geely, the cars have a range of 75 miles and can reach top speeds of 50 mph – which is more than enough within most city limits.
For those interested in something closer to ownership, the company also offers a 1-3 year “Long Lease” which costs between $130-160 per month. What makes the price so appealing, is that it includes insurance, maintenance, and power. This particular business model will also make it easier for Chinese people to access electric cars, the majority of which would otherwise have difficulty installing an electric charger at home.
What makes the vending machines so exciting is that if successful, there will be more electric vehicle drivers in Hangzhou than any other city in the world.