Posted two days ago to Youku (embedded after the jump for those in China), this video currently has 785,000 views. Tang Zhenping, according to the description, is a 55-year-old farmer from Beijing’s Tangzhou Wangji Yongle Town who spent 10,000 yuan to build an electric car that can travel 140 kilometers per charge. Apparently at high speeds, the fan attached to the front of the car begins generating electricity that powers the vehicle in addition to the generator in the back — however unlikely, it must be said, this seems. Everything about the car is nonetheless impressive, and it reportedly only took three months to design and build. (I say “only” without any experience building an operational street vehicle; I don’t know, maybe farmers are capable of building anything in three months, including cannons and firearms. China is a perplexing place.)
chinaSMACK has translated some of the comments that appear on the video. Go check it out if you’re in the mood to read about the rich/poor gap or how “‘peasants’ on the outskirts of Beijing I think should no longer be considered ‘peasants’” because they “are a kind of land-owning nouveau riche,” or skepticism that “the fan on the front is superfluous, and in fact increases wind resistance,” and other insulting things about peasants.
As for myself, I’ll just congratulate Mr. Tang for one hell of a soapbox derby car that doesn’t even need a hill to accelerate. Nice color scheme, too, though it could use some orange-red lightning decals.