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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Shenzhen
App-based cars cheap to use, hard to park
    2017-August-10  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Zhang Qian

zhqcindy@163.com

WHILE app-based bikes can now be seen on almost every street in Shenzhen, shared cars, which first appeared in Shenzhen at almost the same time last December, are not as prevalent or popular.

Shenzhen Daily took an experimental trip by driving an app-based car from one of the Shenzhen-based companies, PonyCar, yesterday and found that although the trip did not cost much, being less expensive than a taxi or Didi, it took quite a bit of time to locate, pick up and return the shared car.

According to the bill, the experimental 7-kilometer trip lasted for nearly one and half hours, including parking time, and cost only 19.98 yuan (US$2.99), which is much cheaper than taking a cab for the same distance or duration.

The experience of using a shared car started with real-name registration on PonyCar’s app. By uploading their driver’s license and photo ID, users are verified before they can order a car.

However, PonyCar’s customer service told the Daily that there is no English service available at this stage and their system does not recognize International Driving Permits, which makes the app unusable for expats.

Additionally, users need to make a 500-yuan deposit and top up their account before ordering a car.

After registration, like with the app-based bikes, users can book the nearest shared car before going to the parking lot. Information including the car’s plate number, type and remaining electricity is shown with the results. The app allows users to arrive at the parking lot and pick up the car within 15 minutes after booking.

Here comes the most difficult part: locating the parking space where the ordered car is parked. According to the search result shown on the app, the nearest available car was in an electric car parking area under a shopping mall 2.8 kilometers away.

To get there, another means of transportation was needed. For instance, to get to the pick-up car park from where the reporters ordered the car required an eight-minute ride from a car-hailing service which cost 13 yuan.

Currently, for PonyCar alone, there are 82 car parks where shared cars are allowed to park in five districts in Shenzhen (Nanshan: 32, Longhua: 17, Bao’an: 15, Longgang: 9 and Futian: 9). Each car park has several shared cars.

No key is needed to open the car’s doors as it is controlled through the app. Instructions for starting the engine and putting the car into gear are listed inside the two-seat new-energy car.

However, before driving the car, users are required to pay the parking fee for the parked car in advance and they can later claim the fee back by uploading a picture of the invoice and leaving the invoice in the car before ending the trip and locking the car.

When approaching their destination, users can search on the app for the nearest parking lot that accepts shared cars. Reporters with Shenzhen Daily found a car park in front of the Walmart store along Qiaoxiang Road near Jingtian, but still needed to take a taxi to their scheduled destination.

Apart from PonyCar, there are several other shared car brands in Shenzhen, and all shared cars are required to be new-energy vehicles, according to policies rolled out by the authority.

 

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Shenzhen Daily E-mail:szdaily@szszd.com.cn