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Tiny Electric Cars In China

BilgeRat

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Longish, but fascinating article...

"Local officials presiding over provinces with tiny-car workshops acknowledge the existence of tiny cars but seem a bit embarrassed talking about them, as they aren’t high-tech. Additionally, the tiny-car economy is now so big that any enforced ban on driving one would face formidable opposition. “You have to understand they are very scary,” Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab Executive Director David Li says, referring to the grandpas and grandmas who make up the tiny car’s target market. He is completely serious. “They’re Mao’s Red Guards. Do you think they care about officials cracking down on them when they’re in their 70s?” "

https://restofworld.org/2021/tesla-vs-tiny-cars/?utm_source=pocket-newtab
 

Mark BEX

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"Red Guards" was not necessary, just a simple understanding of Chinese Culture, and the revered respect for the elderly here.

There are plenty of them in my city, and I have seen cities overwhelmed with them. They did try to ban them, but the numbers are too great. The reason for the attempted ban was simple, no insurance, how do they pay for damage in an accident? They now, at least in my city, have a special licence with some insurance, but I would suggest only about 1 in 5 are licence'd.

They are not allowed into inner city areas in first and second tier cities. They are generally well behaved, stick well to the right, I think mostly because outward vision is so good, and they know they are in danger.

I note in your story, they seemed to select on purpose the really old style, ugly rubbish, whereas most of them are modern looking like this, and it's licence'd too ..

 
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Made in USA

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Reminds me of a paper mill I visited where all the tradesmen had electric work carts (golf carts basically). They actually had traffic jams during shutdowns. While these mini cars are certainly dangerous for the occupants, they are more affordable and easier to park than a full sized. Now consider that maybe this is a way to also reduce the population numbers. Perhaps our society is trying to make things too safe. When I first considered the safety Elio was aiming for, I never once thought it would be as safe as a full sized car. Safer than a motorcycle, probably. Until everything is fully self driving, there will always be greater risk. Don't think that will happen in my lifetime. I am willing to take some risks, I just need to be fully aware of them.
 
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