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E-Car Owner Builds Recharging Network from North China to South

Businessman Zong Yi had a Tesla Model S but the country didn’t have enough charging facilities to suit him. Undeterred, he set them up along a 5,700 kilometer route from Beijing to Guangzhou

(Beijing) – Disappointed by a lack of recharging facilities for electric cars made by Tesla Motors Inc., one of the first Chinese owners of the company’s Model S took matters into his own hands.

Guangdong-based businessman Zong Yi started a campaign to build what he said is the first “electric vehicle charging road” in the country, with recharging facilities in 16 cities from Beijing to Guangzhou. He paid for every recharging station along his indirect, 5,750 kilometer route himself.

What began as a way to get his car home from the dealership became a demonstration of the power of Internet-based organizing and a grassroots alternative to government-backed charging facility projects.

When Zong, 44, took delivery of his vehicle in Beijing in the spring, he faced a problem: with recharging facilities absent outside of Beijing and Shanghai, how could he drive home to Guangzhou? His first idea was to bring a charger with him and ask to use power outlets at the hotels he stayed at along the way.


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