China’s economic boom has brought with it a craze for new inventions. Television shows and blogs feature the ideas of amateur inventors from across the vast country.
One such inventor: Tang Zhenping from the village of Banjiehe, in the Tongzhou district of Beijing. The 55-year-old has come up with his own design for an electric vehicle (EV). According to Tang the EV can reach speeds of up to 45 mph.
“It was a longtime dream come true,” Tang told the China Daily newspaper. “I had wanted to create a car since high school.”
According to the newspaper, the EV’s generator derives power from inertia when the car starts or stops, while a fan generates power as it rotates in the air currents when running at high speeds. The EV also features a pair of “shark fins” that Tang said were inspired by old jets.
Tang plans to bring his EV to a major manufacturer to develop, and officials for a province in Inner Mongolia have already expressed an interest.
Evidence for the invention craze in China can be seen in the proliferation of interest in the media. China Central Television has been running a show for two years called “I Love Inventions,” which takes new ideas and tries to marry the inventors with businesses who might be able to help them develop it. A recent invention that got play on the program was for an automated wheelchair that can climb stairs.
In spite of the media interest, Chinese inventors have not always had an easy time of it. The patent registration system in China does not provide the same protection as international copyright laws and many inventors face having their ideas stolen from them.