Electric bicycles, or e-bikes, have taken off in China. On their side is the fact that they are green, they, in theory, leave a minute carbon footprint. Against them is human nature. Shai Oster of the Wall Street journal Online writes, "Those electric bikes just don’t listen! The problem is they go too fast."
By some estimates there are 120 million e-bikes on China’s roads—up from just 50,000 a decade ago, making it the fastest growing form of transportation in China.
The original standards put the maximum speed of an electric bike at 20 kilometers per hour (a little more than 12 mph). But e-bikes’ power soon outpaced that. Some are capable of 25 mph or more.
WSJ Online quotes a saleswoman who after getting a new bike registered with police, made a simple adjustment to the motor pushes the maximum speed back up to 20 mph. She said, "Any slower and you might as well ride a bicycle."