Inside one of the few remaining traditional enclaves of a traditional-style Shanghai neighborhood, at the entrance to the community where the pavement and grid structure of outside dissolves into twisting earthen paths, a surprisingly resilient business model lives on amidst China’s fast-changing technological landscape and sidewalk landscape.
Complete with counterfeit/shanzhai Siemens plugs (unless they licensed their typeface to the “Sievemes” Corporation, natch). four kuai (~$0.60 US, 0.5 euro) buys you an hour of electricity for your e-scooter, of which there are over 300 million in China (according to Wired). Included in the price is the implicit right to park one’s ride under the plastic shelter, protecting it from the elements.
Probably most remarkable of all is that this service is only accessible through cash. There is no way of paying for this service with one’s cellphone, which is a given for nearly every other financial daily Probably most remarkable of all is that this service is cash only. There’s no way of paying with one’s cellphone, an afterthought for nearly every other financial daily transaction in urban China, and which in turn reveals a great deal about both the anticipated users of this service and the surrounding context. Based on location, this seemingly locally-designed solution appears to be aimed at local residents, many of whom park their scooters at the community’s entrance rather than piloting them down the narrow streets to homes that lack a yard, or any extra space to park that wouldn’t block the narrow street.
From charging location, to cost, to number of vehicles able to charge at once (nine, unless you use a plug-extender), how does this setup compare to vehicle-charging norms where you are?