Chinese Amateur Inventor Creates His Own EV

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.


image via China Daily

“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.

China has a burgeoning green car industry, with a number of Chinese automakers having produced EVs or hybrids.

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.

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.


  • Reply May 31, 2012

    Breath on the Wind

    Interesting promotion of a SCAM.   This may have had a place in the original article on inventiveness, where we might conclude that there can be successes and failures.  We can also conclude that the original author may not have had a good command of English by confusing the definitions of patent registration and copyright laws but extracting those elements without thought promotes a lie and shows that this author is not familiar with some of the basic laws of physics. 

    Any vehicle requires power to overcome resistance and accelerate through inertia.  For this reason some electric vehicles seek a very aerodynamic shape and low rolling resistance tires.  By sticking a fan on the front of this vehicle air resistance is substantially increased.  The second law of thermodynamics predicts that the overall resistance provided by the fan will always be greator than any energy it can provide. It is like dragging an anchor behind the vehicle so that at some point it can be dug in the ground to stop the vehicle. 

    Yes, such a fan could generate electricity and slow the vehicle but it would require more to keep the vehicle running with the fan in place.  This is why parachutes used to stop some high speed vehicles are deployed when necessary instead of dragging behind the vehicle all the time.    

    • Reply May 31, 2012


      In fairness ALL electric cars start off being fully charged at a ‘fuel-point’. The fan and braking system will help with recharging. Though of course better that the fan could fold away until either a high speed is reached and or one is traveling downhill.

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