A supermarket in China recently ran a promotion whereby spending about €77 in one shopping trip could bag you an electric vehicle (EV) for a month.
The advertisement atop the little city EV reads:


Spend RMB 588 in the Jiefang Erlu branch of Wanghao Supermarket and get one month free usage rights to an electric car. Limited to one hundred people, first come first served! For details enquire in-store.
Limited to 25 March–24 April 2017.

In the headline the ‘usage of’ follows the main sentence in slightly smaller typeface.

The car is a Geely-Kandi K17A, a 47 hp car with an official range of 151 Km, 102 Km/h top speed, and 20 kWh battery. A new one will set you back about RMB 165,000 [€21,600]–but less than half that after subsidies in some cities.


The sign says the promotion applies to just this branch, in Sanya. Sanya is the second city of the tropical Hainan province, and a huge tourist destination. A large number of retirees go there for holidays or relocate to Hainan while winter hits back home, and that may be the target market for this promotion–a second car with no commitments.

There is also a strong local culture of using motorbikes for rural transport and mopeds in town. The capital Haikou has banned motorbikes with engines, meaning the city streets are thronged with quiet moped commuters, sometimes needing to beep their horns to warn pedestrians. The audio recording below gives an impression of how this impacts the feel of a busy urban street. The first section is a small town in Hainan where motorbikes are still around, while the second is a road in Haikou at morning rush hour.


Note: there is also an audio player embedded in part of the text above–isn’t that neat? The sorcery for this is called Soundcite, at Knight Lab.