Electric vehicle chargers are slowly breaking into the mainstream here in the U.S., but for Tesla drivers in China, they are few and far between. One Chinese businessman is looking to change that.
When Andrew Zong picked up his new Tesla Model S in Beijing he realized there was no way he could drive it home to Guangzhou without stopping for a charge. Unlike the U.S. and parts of Europe, outside of Beijing and Shanghai China has almost no public EV chargers. Zong was stuck with an expensive car he couldn’t really drive anywhere.
Rather than getting discouraged and having buyer’s remorse, Zong, who happens to be the CEO of PHNIX, got innovative. Zong contacted Tesla Motors executive in charge of Chinese operations to look to buy 20 charging stations. With the information given by Tesla, Zong then hit up social media and began a crowd-sourcing campaign of sorts. Using popular Chinese social media sites, Zong found property owners who were willing to convert one parking spot in their parking lots to house a donated Tesla charging station. Zong’s campaign was successful and Zong spent approximately $117,600 on the charging stations.
Currently Zong has the 20 charging station installed in 16 cities across 3,570 miles of road. It should be noted that the chargers that Zong got were not the Tesla SuperChargers, but rather the 240-volt Tesla home chargers, so a full charge will take about eight hours. That being said, it’s certainly better than nothing, though Zong left the option to administer a charging fee up to the property owners.
Until Tesla gets its Supercharger network up-and-running in China, this is the next-best option.