Last week, Beijing traffic was paralyzed with a record 140 traffic jams. Battery-powered bikes became an excellent form of transport.
Since "e-bikes" were given formal approval five years ago, their numbers have grown so fast they now outnumber cars in many cities. One estimate is that there are now 120 million e-bikes in China.
The cheapest range of e-bikes, which are essentially cycles fitted with a 12-36 volt battery, costs around RMB800 (US$119.55), while a mid-range model costs twice as much.
When the batteries are fully charged e-bikes can cover more than 40 kilometers. Given that 40% of all commutes in Beijing are less than 5 kilometers, they are a perfect way to deal with traffic jams.
The Hindu reports that last year, rules were issued to register bikes whose speeds exceed 40 km/h. This has yet to be enforced.
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