One of the first Tesla Model S owners in China, Andrew Zong, had a moment of perhaps unwelcome clarity shortly after picking up his vehicle in Beijing… when he realized that it was more or less impossible to drive it back to Guangzhou, owing to the country’s lack of charging infrastructure.
Rather than simply accepting the situation, and having his Model S shipped or towed back to Guangzhou, Zong decided he would address the situation and “simply” create the first charging facility network for this route himself. Well, not just by himself, but with the help of others found through social media as well.
“When I picked up my Tesla in Beijing, I realized that it’s impossible to drive it back to Guangzhou as there are hardly any places to recharge the batteries,” stated Andrew Zong, the CEO of PHNIX.
Confronted with the situation, Zong “got a crazy plan that by utilizing the power of the Internet and folk strength, he could make the first charging facility network in China to solve the electric vehicles’ charging problems.”
With the plan in mind he purchased a batch of original chargers for Tesla with the aim of donating all of the chargers to EV car owners spread throughout the country.
The press release provides more:
Next Andrew Zong posted on online social network platforms, like WeChat and Weibo, to recruit volunteers who were willing to provide installation sites and offer free charging service for Tesla motors. During the next three days, there were thousands of volunteers applying to install charging piles at their places. Taken everything into consideration, 20 of the volunteers were selected.
During the following twenty days, Andrew Zong and his companions have self-driven his Tesla for 5,750 kilometers via sixteen cities, in which they have donated twenty charging piles. To their astonishment, they finally succeeded in pioneering the first route of electric car charging network from north to south China.
Continuing in this spirit, Zong — the founder of one of the world’s biggest heat pump manufacturers — has ordered twenty of Tesla’s acclaimed EVs for his employees, and also built sixty charging parking lots adjacent to his company’s factories.
Commenting on the subject to reporters, Andrew Zong stated: “The true value of this action is to tell everyone: as long as more and more people are involved, a network of charging piles across China will soon be set up and this could form a more eco-friendly lifestyle for China.”
Interesting story. And certainly a nice balance/contrast to our story on a certain other Tesla Model S owner/buyer in China, one with a very different approach to life, it seems.
For those that haven’t guessed the story that I’m referring to and are intrigued, check out: Angry Chinese Customer Smashes Tesla Model S In Protest. Fair warning, though, the story is a bit ridiculous.