Who says China isn't fond of electric vehicles?

Lineup of Rental Ready e150EVs

Lineup of Rental Ready e150EVs

Okay, maybe residents of China don't want to pay a fortune to buy one, but if priced comparably to conventional vehicles, then the Chinese seem more than pleased to choose electric.

At least that appears to be the case in Beijing where, withing three days of launching a pilot EV rental program, all of the 15 vehicles were spoken for.

This shows that resident of Beijing are at least eager to try out electric vehicles, but this rental setup is not exactly what you might expect.

You see, the program in Beijing—the first of its kind in all of China—is aimed at promoting the private use of plug-in vehicles.  Renters can hop in an EV for a few hours, a day or two or even a month if he or she so chooses to.

Here's the pricing breakdown:

  • 49 yuan ($8) for two hours
  • 99 yuan ($16) per day
  • 1,999 yuan ($326) per month
At those prices, renters pay no more than they would for a comparable gas-fueled automobile.

The vehicle offered for rent is nothing special really.  It's a BAIC E150EV.

We're not sure how long all these vehicles have been booked for (we assume a few were simply taken out for an hour long spin), but the report is that all 15 of the EVs were away from the rental lot at one time.  So, in that way, they were all booked.

Surprised?  We aren't.  This sort of scheme makes perfect sense.  Get drivers behind the wheel of an EV and hope they become hooked.

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