China’s E-Bike Revolution

August 26, 2011

China is swarming with E-bikes that are basically pedal powered machines with an electric boost. These E-bikes are common in Beijing and Shanghai.

There are also E-scooters with heavier motors that are capable of doing speeds of 30 mph or faster.

According to Time Magazine, “The relative simplicity of the machines and their components has encouraged a huge number of e-bike companies to open in China.

“In 2006,” Time Magazine reported, “there were 2,700 licensed manufacturers, and countless additional smaller shops. Rising to the top of the heap is not easy.

“Leading manufacturer Xinri (the name means “new day”) was founded in 1999 by Zhang Chongshun, an auto parts factory executive who recognized the potential of the field. In its first year, Xinri built less than 1,000 bikes; last year it churned out 1.6 million.”

According to Next Big Future, 140 million e-bikes were sold in China in 2010, and for 2011, those sales are projected to reach 167 million with increasing sales each year.

In addition, The Economist reports, “the (Chinese) government also wants to encourage electric bicycles to curb the pollution and congestion created by other vehicles…The authorities are also trying to make e-bikes themselves greener: manufacturers are being compelled to invest in lighter materials and to replace lead-acid batteries with lithium ones.”

Discover China’s Going Green Challenge


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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The Power of Debate in China

April 29, 2010

“The news triggered a heated debate that was played out all over the Chinese-language media and on the Internet. Eventually, the government backed down, and it’s been left up to industry groups to figure out new guidelines.” Source: Gr-r-r-r! Why I hate China’s e-bikes

This quote from Adrienne Mong, an NBC News Producer, caught my eye. Gasp! Is this evidence from a Western Media source that the people of China have a voice and use it? I hope Adrienne doesn’t lose her job for this slip.

This sounds like America where public debates often have an impact on public policy even if that impact is negative since the majority rules—well, in theory, since in America the majority is often ignored while we constantly hear from “loud” minorities. Take the Tea Bag people, who represent less than 15% of the population, as an example. I wish they’d shut up.

Every time I’ve been in China, we walk, take taxis or use the subways.  We don’t bike, but I have admired the electric bikes.  This is the first I’ve heard of an e-bike without lights.

bicycle and an Audi 80 collide in China

Considering that America loses about 45,000 people a year to highway deaths and, according to Adrienne Mong, China loses twice that with almost five times the population, I’m surprised the numbers for road kill in China are not higher. Many of the drivers in China are crazy. The busy streets look more like an NFL game in the Super Bowl. I’ve often observed that red lights are ignored and crossing any street and sometimes even using sidewalks is risky.

Also see, Where Did All that Pollution Come From?


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.