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Kandi in Talks to Expand Electric Car Rental to Beijing-Shanghai

Kandi Technologies Group Inc. (KNDI), a Chinese electric carmaker that rents out vehicles to the public, said the service is profitable and plans to expand it to cities including Beijing and Shanghai.

“I have been meeting local officials from other cities who have been visiting our company almost daily in the past few months,” Kandi Chairman Hu Xiaoming said in a Feb. 21 interview at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. “They are very interested in our model and keen on promoting use of electric vehicles in their cities.”

Kandi, together with joint venture partner Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. (175), provides electric vehicles for short-term hire using automated multilevel garages in Hangzhou. Rental rates start from 20 yuan ($3.3) an hour and covers the first 25 kilometers (16 miles), compared with the starting rate of 11 yuan for taxis.

The automaker’s shares have outperformed the Nasdaq Composite Index this year after tripling in 2013, as China stepped up efforts to combat worsening air pollution and encouraged the adoption of electric vehicles. The world’s second-largest economy 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.
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