China plans to export green electric bikes
Motorbikes are a popular form of low-cost urban transport in many Chinese cities. They can also be highly polluting and many Chinese cities (Beijing, Nanjing, Guangzhou) are now taking steps to limit the use of gasoline powered motorcycles in urban centres.
In parallel with this, cities such as Shanghai are taking measure to promote the use of electric bicycles as a low-emission, low-cost alternative to motorcycles.
Dis-incentives against gasoline motorcycles combined with incentives for the “electric bike” industry are expected to result in sales of 90,000 units in Shangahi this year, up from just 5,000 in 1997. Chinese makers are now targeting overseas markets.
At the recent International Bike and Motorcycle Exhibition in the US, several Chinese manufacturers were displaying electric bikes, retailing for around USD 300 each. The Chinese firms hope to ramp up production if the product takes off in Western markets.
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