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The transition to electric bikes in China: history and key reasons for rapid growth

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  • Jonathan Weinert
  • Chaktan Ma
  • Christopher Cherry

Abstract

Annual electric bike (e-bike) sales in China grew from 40,000 in 1998 to 10 million in 2005. This rapid transition from human-powered bicycles, buses and gasoline-powered scooters to an all-electric vehicle/fuel technology system is special in the evolution of transportation technology and, thus far, unique to China. We examine how and why e-bikes developed so quickly in China with particular focus on the key technical, economic, and political factors involved. This case study provides important insights to policy makers in China and abroad on how timely regulatory policy can change the purchase choice of millions and create a new mode of transportation. These lessons are especially important to China as it embarks on a large-scale transition to personal vehicles, but also to other countries seeking more sustainable forms of transportation. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Weinert & Chaktan Ma & Christopher Cherry, 2007. "The transition to electric bikes in China: history and key reasons for rapid growth," Transportation, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 301-318, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:34:y:2007:i:3:p:301-318
    DOI: 10.1007/s11116-007-9118-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cherry, Chris & Cervero, Robert, 2006. "Use Characteristics and Mode Choice Behavior of Electric Bikes in China," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt39b0j75n, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
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    1. Cherry, Christopher & Weinert, Jonathan & Ma, Chaktan, 2007. "The Environmental Impacts of Electric Bikes in Chinese Cities," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt4zg3b4d6, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    2. Cherry, Christopher R., 2007. "Electric Two-Wheelers in China: Analysis ofEnvironmental, Safety, and Mobility Impacts," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt6wh1v7cj, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.

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