China's Road-Straddling Bus: A Scam?

China's Road-Straddling Bus: A Scam?
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Chinese state-run media argues that the eye-catching vehicle may not exactly live up to expectations.

A road-straddling bus that had its first test run this week in China is being called the next “Ezubao Scam” by China's state-run Global Times.

The report, released this morning, ran under the headline “Emergency Dispatch, Do Not Believe these News Reports” and proceeded to tear down the chief engineer of the TEB-1 bus and the company that is funding it.

In the article, the Global Times asserts that the chief engineer, Song Youzhou (宋有洲), only has primary education and “experts from many fields have questioned the practicality of such a vehicle, especially with China’s complicated road systems.”

The Global Times added that the company funding the project is an online peer-to-peer finance company, Hua Yingkailai (華贏凱來), which has been “taking large amounts of money from investors while promising large returns.”

The article claims the company only has two completed projects to-date, both in cooperation with another company, China Build Enterprise Association (中國建設企業聯合集團有限公司), also owned by the CEO of Hua Yingkailai. Based on these findings, the Global Times concludes that the company’s high-risk investments could be illegal.

The report adds that the “shady company” has already begun selling investment products tied to the TEB-1.

The electric bus is 22 meters long and 7.8 meters wide. It is able to carry 300 passengers, and has attracted interest from Brazil, France, India, and Indonesia. In 2010 Time magazine called it one of the year's top 50 inventions.

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: Edward White