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The electric bike in China

The electric bike in China.Why Urban Chinese like electric bike in China.Implications of electric bikes for China’s oil consumption.Electric bikes in China lead demand and environmental risks.

Content one:Why Urban Chinese like electric bike in China
Reason1 They are highly affordable in China.
Chinese car buyers can currently purchase BYD’s entry-level F3 sedan for around US
$10,000, according to data from China Autoweb. BYD’s new E6 electric sedan costs closer to US$60,000 before subsidies, according to Bloomberg. In contrast, an electric scooter from Hangzhou Hangpai Electric Vehicle Co. can be had for US$700, or about 7% the price of the basic gasoline car and 1.1% the price of the unsubsidized electric car (1.7% the price of the E6 with all subsidies). Electric bicycles are even cheaper. For instance, Damei Strong Bicycle’s GT-S Top Class E-bicycle costs as little as US$335, or about 3% the price of the BYD F3 sedan.

Reason2 They are cheap to operate in China.
Electric bikes and scooters cost much less to operate than cars do. A Chinese driver
who drives 300 days per year and covers an average of 12.5 miles per day (20km) with an average fuel efficiency of 25 miles per gallon at today’s average Chinese retail gasoline price of around US$4 per gallon will pay US$4.16 per day to operate his car. Our estimate accounts for the cost of fuel burned, as well as maintenance, parking, and incidental costs car owners are likely to face over the course of each year they own their vehicle.Paying around US$4 per day to commute to work and run errands might sound good to drivers in Europe, Japan, or the U.S., where operating a car is much more expensive, but it does not look so good to China’s emerging urban middle class, members of whom we estimate can operate an electric bike for roughly 21¢ per day (1/20 the cost of owning and driving a car). Even for the higher tiers of the middle class in urban areas who might own a car, this large cost disparity can make electric bikes highly attractive as second or third vehicles for regular around town use.

Reason3 Electric bikes are much more convenient than cars in urban areas.
Anyone who has sat for a half-hour or more amidst the exhaust fumes and irritation of
a traffic jam in Beijing, Shanghai, or other Chinese cities and watched electric bikes silently shoot by in the designated bike lanes can appreciate the machines’ ability to smoothly and quickly work through congested urban areas. With respect to electric vehicles, electric cars will save gasoline, but will contribute to road congestion and spend just as much wasted time sitting in traffic jams as their petroleum-fueled cousins in China.Certain Chinese cities have begun restricting or even banning electric bike use in some areas because their speed and silence create hazards to pedestrians and other bicyclists, but the two-wheelers continue to have a major advantage over cars in terms of accessibility in crowded urban zones and do so without the noise and smoky exhaust of gasoline-powered scooters and motorbikes. Convenience of parking and charging Electric bike expert Dr. Christopher Cherry calculates cars typically require 28 square meters of parking space, while an electric bike or e-scooter only needs 2 square meters. Many urban areas in China are short on parking space (please see our detailed research on the subject). While more parking lots are being built, shortages are likely to persist for years as people living in areas built with few parking options continue to purchase vehicles.Also, unlike electric cars, which typically require specialized docking stations to charge, the electric bikes can be plugged into the wall outlet in an apartment. Plugging into an unmodified wall outlet is considerably cheaper than setting up dedicated charging stations like those required by electric cars (at a cost of US $2,000 plus tax and licensing fees for the Nissan Leaf’s at-home charging station). Also, prospective electric vehicle buyers in China face the fundamental problem that most existing Chinese housing complexes do not include integrated parking facilities and even fewer Chinese have access to the personal garages or nearby private parking space upon which the American model of at-home electric vehicle charging is predicated.

Content two:Implications of electric bikes for China’s oil consumption.
In terms of oil demand displacement potential, if the average car user drives 12.5 mi
(20km) per day in a BYD F3 class sedan (25 mpg fuel economy), using 1.9 liters of gasoline, the average car would use roughly 4.1 bbl of fuel per year, after accounting for fuel wastage idling in traffic jams (equivalent to 15% of distance driven).Thus, the more than 10 million electric bikes likely to be added to China’s fleet in 2011 could likely effectively replace more than 20 million barrels of gasoline per year (we discount the actual arithmetic number of 40 million barrels to account for the fact that many households, especially in urban areas, may own and use both cars and electric bikes and that people may also use public transport or their personal cars during inclement weather, for example).Based on Sinopec’s 2010 ratio of 1 barrel of gasoline produced for every 5 barrels of crude oil processed, this could translate to more than 100 million barrels per year, or 274,000 bpd of oil supplies. This is equal to roughly 3% of China’s total daily oil demand and is nearly 25% larger than the average of 220,000 bpd of oil that China is likely to import from Kazakhstan in 2011 (Reuters).

Content three:Electric bikes in China lead demand and environmental risks. 
Electric bikes bring substantial oil conservation benefits, but pose environmental
costs in other ways. First, they increase electricity demand in a country where 80% of power comes from coal-fired plants. Second—and more pressing—their batteries use as much lead as a car in many cases. The average electric bike uses 10.3kg of lead per unit, while larger and more powerful e-scooters use 14.7kg of lead per unit on average, according to the Asian Development Bank. As such, China’s anticipated production of 33 million electric bikes in 2011 will require 340,000 tonnes of lead, or 8.3% of China’s total forecast lead demand for 2011.Furthermore, because electric bike batteries are charged and discharged more often than car batteries in China, they must typically be replaced much more frequently (every 1-2 years on average). The high replacement rate is a matter of concern because although Chinese battery recycling rates have risen rapidly and now likely exceed 85%, PRC-based battery recyclers in many cases still use outdated technology and practices and have much higher lead emission rates than comparable facilities in Europe or the U.S.To put electric bike lead emissions into perspective, consider that a 2009 Asian Development Bank study estimated that an average Chinese electric bike accounts for 520 mg of lead emissions per km of use over its lifetime. In contrast, a U.S. car burning leaded gasoline in the 1970s at a 30 mpg fuel economy emitted only 33 mg of lead per km of use, an amount that nonetheless was deemed unacceptable and helped drive the phase-out of leaded fuels in the U.S.Here it bears noting that a car burning leaded fuel actually emits lead while driving, whereas the electric bikes do not emit lead while operating, but rather help drive high lead emissions that are concentrated in areas near mines and smelters. Heavy metal pollution in industrial zones across China from Guangdong and Hunan in the South to Huludao in the Northeast garners increasing political attention and smelter shutdowns have resulted.Likely modes of reducing electric bike lead emissions include closing smaller smelter that use dated technology and promoting the use of batteries that use lithium. Crackdowns on the most polluting smelters will likely continue, while lithium battery use will grow only slowly since lithium batteries are still not cost-competitive with the traditional lead-acid units.

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9/30/2013 3:31:24 AM FREY VEHICLE LIMITED Google+

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