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Can A Giant Vending Machine Solve China's Pollution Problem?

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China has a pollution problem, and Chinese vehicle manufacturer Kandi Technologies thinks it can help solve it.

As car sales reach an all-time high in the country, Kandi has developed a unique car-sharing service that pops out electric vehicles like a bag of chips from a vending machine.

Documentary filmmaker Aaron Rockett, who produced a video spotlighting the service, says that the cars cost approximately $3.25 an hour to rent and provide drivers with the comfort of air-conditioning and the protection of a roof, something you can't get from bikes and scooters, both common forms of transportation in the country. Rockett told The Huffington Post in an email that he came across Kandi Technologies three years ago and used his own funds to produce the story about the company and its innovative car-sharing service.

Rockett believes car sharing will become more prominent in China. Writing to HuffPost that the nation's attempts to curb congestion and pollution by "making it harder to drive cars in cities with stiff license plate laws," he says that a service like Kandi Technology's electric car-sharing program is a viable option for the car-hungry country.

But China's goal of combatting pollution with the increased use of electric vehicles is currently behind schedule, according to Bloomberg Businessweek: "China is lagging behind its target to have 5 million alternative energy-powered vehicles by 2020 because of a lack of charging stations and high costs, even amid mounting public concerns over worsening air pollution."

However, things may change as electric carmakers like Tesla enter the Chinese market.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk told Bloomberg that he thinks Tesla sales in China "could be as big as the U.S. market, maybe bigger."

Musk went on to tell the publication that in the long-term Tesla plans to add a factory in China.

Rockett doesn't think Tesla's entrance into the Chinese market will hurt Kandi's all-electric car-sharing service. "Kandi allows access to electric vehicles for the masses, which otherwise can be prohibitively expensive," he told HuffPost. "From the reports I’ve read Tesla’s Model S with import costs, [will] run $121K in China."

Check out the electric car vending machine, below.



(Hat tip, Wired)

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