Chinese entrepreneur buys a Tesla, finds no charging stations, creates 20 of them

Mashable:

While Tesla Motors has charging stations throughout the United States and Europe, there are none in China outside of Beijing and Shanghai. Zong’s charging road, which includes 20 charging stations in 16 cities across the 5,750-kilometer (about 3,570-mile) stretch between the two cities, attempts to fix that problem.

The inspiration for Zong’s idea resulted from a simple problem he faced after picking up his Model S in Beijing. A Model S can travel a total of 500 kilometers (311 miles) on one charge, which would make the journey from Beijing to Guangzhou impossible without charging stations along the way.

This is the kind of customer Tesla needs more of. Here’s how he did it:

Using Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, as well as popular messaging app WeChat, Zong found property owners willing to forego one parking space in their lot to house a donated Tesla charging station.

Love this.



  • StruckPaper

    The question is – Is he a great entrepreneur or is he a bit dim? One would have thought that such an enterprising person would have taken the trouble of finding out about the absence of charging stations before buying the car? ;-)

    • Dave Mark

      I doubt that’s how it played out. Need breeds the dream.

      My 2 cents: It probably unfolded all at the same time. He wanted a Tesla, then saw the need for charging stations, decided to go ahead with the purchase and build the network of charging stations, all part of the same dream.

    • Mantrax

      Smart people adapt themselves to their environment.

      Dumb people try to adapt their environment to themselves.

      Therefore all progress of mankind depends on dumb people.

  • matthewmaurice

    Maybe you should change that headline to “Chinese entrepreneur buys A Tesla” I almost spit my coffee out thinking “Musk sold Tesla?!”

    • Dave Mark

      Heh. Good point. Thanks. Fixed.

  • http://sumocat.blogspot.com Sumocat

    “This is the kind of customer Tesla needs more of.” — What company wouldn’t want rich customers building infrastructure for them?

    Wait, who cares? That’s trivial. Here’s the big question: how long was that drive? A ~3600 mile drive broken into 300 mile increments requires 11 breaks. That adds 11 hours to a 24-hr drive (per Google) IF he had bought the 1-hr Super chargers, but he bought the 8-hr overnight chargers. That tacks on almost four days to a 24-hr trip. That’s fine if he wants to do it, but his goal was to establish a route for others. Who would follow that route? This doesn’t help anyone. Vanity move, nothing more.

    • Moeskido

      Not if his example encourages other people to do the same. More infrastructure is better.

  • Dave

    “This is the kind of customer Tesla needs more of.” I would argue that many of Tesla’s customers are already like this. I purchased a Model S back in May and have been really amazed by the other owners enthusiasm and helpfulness. I took a trip to Woodstock (Mountain Jam) in June and needed a place to charge before returning to NYC. I used plugshare.com, and emailed another Tesla owner who had a high speed wall charger (and solar panels). He was more than willing to let me charge at his house for free, which made my trip effortless. After we got there, he left us alone at his charge to house, and gave us recommendations for passing our time while the car charged. I also meet a ton of owners along the Supercharger network, and they all go out of their way to show strangers their car. They are very enthusiastic. I too have given about 60 test rides and demos thus far – it is so much fun to share and spread the word. It reminds me a lot of the early Macintosh days.

  • Kriztyan

    I really want Tesla to succeed. If I could, I would be driving one now.

  • http://www.jphotog.com Hrunga Zmuda

    That’s a long drive from Beijing to Guangzhou! Shoot. You’ll need a charge half way across Guangzhou. There are 38 million people living there!

    Fun facts: Guangzhou was previously known as Canton – where most Chinese folks have told me is the finest Chinese cuisine. I had a lot of the very high end cuisine there. It is good!

    I use a mnemonic device to remember how to pronounce the area’s name. Guangzhou sounds very similar to “Gong Show.” Took almost a week while I was there, a year ago, before I came up with that trick and it started rolling off the tongue.

  • http://www.jphotog.com Hrunga Zmuda

    That’s a long drive from Beijing to Guangzhou! Shoot. You’ll need a charge half way across Guangzhou. There are 38 million people living there!

    Fun facts: Guangzhou was previously known as Canton – where most Chinese folks have told me is the finest Chinese cuisine. I had a lot of the very high end cuisine there. It is good!

    I use a mnemonic device to remember how to pronounce the area’s name. Guangzhou sounds very similar to “Gong Show.” Took almost a week while I was there, a year ago, before I came up with that trick and it started rolling off the tongue.

  • Merckel

    Sorry, I can’t get excited about a $100,000 car that sounds like a hair dryer and has the interior of a $30,000 Chevy. The overall fit and finish are not in the ballpark of any luxury brand.

    Rumor is that new Tesla models for $35,000 are on the horizon, so why would anyone spend $100k for a Model S that will surely depreciate hard when alternatives launch at a third of the price.

    • Moeskido

      Early adopters want what they want. And ideally they help drive the cost down for the rest of us.