There are more than 120 million electric cycles happily zipping in and out of the gridlock traffic caused by China’s 26 million cars.
An e-bike costs on average about $300 to buy, less than $2 to license and anyone can ride one as long as they stick to the bicycle lanes on major streets. They use less than $50 worth of electricity a year.
Depending on the battery and the conditions, e-bikes can travel about 30 to 40kilometers on a full charge.
Hu Gang, deputy general-manager of Jiangsu Xinri E-Vehicle Co., the largest of China’s 1,000-plus e-bike manufacturers, said, "It’s too tiring to pedal bicycles, too dangerous to ride motorbikes, too expensive to drive cars and too crowded on buses."
So, that little extra propulsion you get on an e-bike – by law they can only go 20 kilometers an hour, but anecdotally people say they can hit more than 30 – is a powerful incentive.
According to Hu, 90% of the world’s e-bikes are in China and the other 10% mostly in nearby Asian countries.
Montreal Gazette reported that Hu said, "Our next step is to develop, export and expand global markets, since we have a strong advantage in technology and brand."