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E-Bicycle News
05/03/2001
E-Bicycle NewsOne of the most interesting features of the light electric vehicle business is the global nature of the design, sourcing and sales of these vehicles.

A good example is the multinational volunteer work force of Extra Energy in Germany. People from Germany, Italy, France, USA, China, Taiwan and other countries often donate their time to help with EEs promotion of the electric bicycle.

At a Taiwanese company I have witnessed an American working with a German designer to produce scooters to be built in Taiwan for sale to USA, Europe and Japan. And component parts for this unit may come from China, Japan, Canada, and India.

All over the world, people are dealing with the same basic problems - humans like to move around a lot, so they need transportation - and air pollution, traffic congestion and high fuel costs are world wide problems associated with most transportation methods.

An absolute certainty is, however the electricity is provided, the human race is going to buy a lot of electric two wheelers. Companies all over the world are preparing to fill this need.

What Countries are Doing What In Light Electric Vehicles?

USA - Good electric bike and scooter designs, good technology, a large market. ETC, EV Rider, BiKit, Currie, Heinzmann, ZAP, EV Global, Giant, Ford, Yamaha, JD Components, and many others are all participants in the USA. Most advanced battery, motor, and controller technology originated in the USA.

Europe - Good designs, lots of innovation, and from Italy, advanced styling. Many companies including Prima, Mercedes, Aprilia, Piaggio, Kynast, Sparta, BiKit, Ad.El., and Heinzmann.

Japan - The first country to buy hundreds of thousands of electric bikes. Now a staple of short range commuting. The originators of the Pedelec concept and still the strongest market outside of China. Panasonic, Yamaha, Sanyo, Honda, and many others are participants. Japan makes most of the advanced batteries used in small electric vehicles.

China - Now the largest market, China will consume more than a million electric bikes in 2001. The air quality in Shanghai is visibly improving as a result of the encouragement of electric vehicles and the discouragement of two stroke gasoline engines. Large companies are T& Di, Suzhou Small Antelope, Shanghai Elite and many, many more. China is the source of most inexpensive electric bike components including batteries, hub motors and more. (There are more than 900 battery companies in China.)

Taiwan - The makers of most of the electric bikes sold in Europe and the USA. Taiwan is the home of Merida, Giant, Fairly (EV Global), Tiaoku (Currie), Sunpex (TotalEV Eboarder), HCF, Ideation (Currie) and many more. However, the Taiwanese do not, at this time, buy many electric bikes for home use.

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