E-China: The Bicycle Kingdom is Going Electric
AP looks at the new fad of electric bicycles, for those tired of a long bike commute but who can’t afford a car:
Workers weary of crammed public transport or pedaling long distances to jobs are upgrading to battery-powered bikes and scooters. Even some who can afford cars are ditching them for electric two-wheelers to avoid traffic jams and expensive gasoline.
The bicycle was a vivid symbol of China in more doctrinaire communist times, when virtually no one owned a car. Even now, nearly two decades after the country began its great leap into capitalism, it still has 430 million bicycles by government count, outnumbering electric bikes and scooters 7-1.
But production of electric two-wheelers has soared from fewer than 200,000 eight years ago to 22 million last year, mostly for the domestic market. The industry estimates about 65 million are on Chinese roads.