Some people see a challenge and they just get frustrated. Zong Yi of China is not such a person, but instead sees a challenge as an opportunity to innovate and improve the situation. That was the case when he took possession of a new Tesla Model S in the early part of 2014, then quickly realized that his ability to drive far from his home in Guangzhou was essentially impossible because of a lack of charging stations.
Of course, it helps to be wealthy when facing such a challenge. Yi’s wealth meant he was able to build charging stations that stretched from Beijing to his home, allowing him to drive his new car from where he picked it up to his neighborhood. The endeavor meant building 16 charging stations to cover the 3,750 miles of distance between the two Chinese cities. That’s the equivalent of driving from Anchorage all the way to San Diego.
Yi looked at the construction of the charging stations as an investment, considering he regularly travels to Beijing and so will use the stations often. By partnering with businesses along the route, he was able to set up the new stations quickly. Those businesses did not have to pay for the chargers to be installed and can choose to either offer the service for free or charge a fee.
The chargers are not of the Supercharger variety, so juicing up a Tesla Model S takes up to eight hours. For this reason, he located most of them at hotels and restaurants, giving drivers somewhere to hang out. They are spaced far enough apart that the only production electric car that can travel the distances between the chargers is the Model S. Sorry, Nissan Leaf owners.