In recent times, a viral video has caught the attention of the online community, showing what appeared to be massive car graveyards filled with abandoned Chinese electric vehicles (EVs). The video depicted a field allegedly containing tens of thousands of brand-new, never-driven EVs, purportedly discarded without ever being sold. The story painted a grim picture of waste and deception in the Chinese EV industry. However, as with many things on the internet, appearances can be deceiving.
To get to the bottom of this intriguing story, an intrepid investigator from China Auto took it upon themselves to journey to one of these alleged graveyards and unveil the truth behind the controversial claims. The journey led them to the base of Banshan Mountain in Hangzhou, where the so-called graveyard was located.
Contrary to the original video’s dramatic portrayal of tens of thousands of rotting EVs, the investigator found a much smaller reality on the ground. Instead of a sprawling sea of abandoned vehicles, the field contained around 150 to 200 EVs, most of which were not brand new but rather used and in varying states of wear and tear. The cars were mainly Neta V’s and other models, not anywhere near the vast number suggested in the viral video.
The first major discrepancy uncovered was related to the claim that these abandoned EVs were contributing to the exaggeration of China’s EV sales numbers. The investigator clarified that these cars were not actually new but were used vehicles with aftermarket accessories, indicating that they had been driven and owned before reaching the field.
Further investigation revealed that these cars were predominantly ride-sharing vehicles, most notably a model called the BJEV EC3. These ride-sharing companies attempted to replicate the success of e-bike sharing but were met with a series of obstacles such as congested urban traffic, the efficiency of alternative transportation methods like bicycles and subways, and the complex parking situation in many Chinese cities.
The companies’ failure to gain a foothold in the market resulted in the accumulation of these electric vehicles in the Banshan field. These vehicles were left without proper care and maintenance, leading to their eventual abandonment. This was a far cry from the assertion that these EVs were purposefully left unused to manipulate sales data for subsidies.
The investigator also addressed concerns about the environmental impact of these abandoned EVs. While the cars were not emitting emissions, the situation still raised concerns about waste and resource utilization. The hope was that efforts would be made to recycle or repurpose these vehicles and their batteries, contributing to a more sustainable future.
Additionally, the field contained a mix of vehicles beyond EVs, including used taxis and cars involved in accidents. Contrary to claims made in various videos, the investigator found a notable presence of international brands like Volkswagen and Audi, indicating that the situation was more complex than initially portrayed.
The key takeaway from this investigation was the importance of critical thinking and fact-checking when presented with sensationalized stories. The online world can often amplify and distort information, making it crucial for individuals to seek out reliable sources and first-hand accounts when trying to uncover the truth behind controversial claims. As demonstrated by this investigation, reality can often be far more nuanced than what meets the eye in a viral video.