I was watching the news last night and discovered Kunming is going to be applying a pretty severe restriction on e-bikes in the upcoming months. According to the report, e-bikes that can accelerate over 20KM/H or weigh over 45KG are going to be banned for free use and will require a drivers permit to operate as well as purchase insurarance for their E-bike. From my perspective this is quite unreasonable and is a low blow to middle and lower class residents, practically forcing them to either ride a bicycle (which although not bad, is not convienet for most, particurally in the hot months), buy a car, or spend up to 25,000RMB to obtain a drivers license. With such an unstable and overcrowded traffic situation at the moment, this is rather unreasonable and will create more problems than it solves
What does everyone think? Is it a good idea? Will it be enforced? What real impacts will it have in KM?
I think compulsory insurance is a good idea, but they would do better to restrict the number of privately owned cars rather than Ebikes.
As far as I know, insurance is mandatory for all cars.
I mean compulsory 3rd party insurance for Ebikes.
@Sean1, at what point does an e-bike stop becoming an e-bike? What if I could soup it up to do 100kmh? What if I customized it so it's a mobile entertainment center with built in KTV on 2 wheels? For KM officials that line is 20kmh or 45KG. Essentially what the government is doing is re-classifying e-bikes over 20kmh/45KG as a light motorized cycle, therefore placing it under the jurisdiction of the motor vehicle department and being subjected to the same regulation and traffic rules as other motorized vehicles.
I personally don't see it as unreasonable because there are still alternatives and is in fact an improvement over the current outright ban. In a seemingly stupid loophole, bicycles (including e-bikes before this re-classification) didn't have to obey any traffic regulations because they are not under the jurisdiction of the traffic police. In other words, you can ride your bike anywhere, run red lights (which is what they do now and hence the demand for regulation) and the traffic cops can't issue you a ticket. Even with the no passenger ticket for e-bikes, there were controversy over whether they can issue a ticket at all and there have been quite a few cases where citizens have gotten in to altercations over their refusal to pay.
Buying a car or riding a regular bike are not the only options available with this new regulation. I, myself have gotten by with public transportation or the occasional taxi. Even if that's not the case, citizens can still ride a e-bike once the get the proper license and get insured.
Whether or the regulation can be enforced and sustained depends on the political will of the government. It is definitely a monstrous task.
Or buy one of the lightweight ebikes that were the norm until people started to hot them up and manufacturers followed. 20kph is fast enough for mixing with bicycles.
The poor will not be affected so much. The bikes that cost under 2000rmb will not be affected. The bikes that cost 4000-6000+ will all be affected.
The bigger bikes, are not being outlawed, you just need a vehicle license. Then you can, if you wish, leave the crowded cycle lanes and play with the cars. This means you will be able to get to work faster than if you are fighting with bicycles.
IMHO regulation was needed for safety. I have seen children riding the bigger machines at full speed on sidewalks. Allowing small children to ride machines that are too big and too fast for them to control is not a good idea, but if your neighbour's little emperor rides his dad's, then your little emperor will expect the same. The risk is to the kids and everyone in their path.
There are also the other inconsiderate users of ebikes to consider.
Ultimately it will be the more vulnerable road users that will be protected. Something that is sorely needed.
To have a bike that does more than 35KPH isn't a cute little bicycle substitute. Most E-bikes make 75 or more kph and that is a full motor vehicle just because it soundless and eco (which it isn't, in fact), doesn't make it harmless.
I think insurance and driver license test specialized for the e-bikes plus engine sounds for safety (gives new ideas to pimping them as well) would be better than just banning them. Which is a little bit ridiculous.
I think the idea to get the roads safer is a good approach by Kunming leaders but as always there are too far away from the real world and the real people, so banning isn't really helping.
But anyone who thinks it's not a good idea to get the e-bike situation under control, check the news or drive along guanfu lu at rush hour and you will see why those bikes are so dangerous.
My personal record in terms of crashcounts (9 crashes just on GF-Lu intersections, 2 severe and 7 minor)...riding along in a cab from dianchi lake to LuoSiWang market.
I am against restrictions. Most working Chinese cannot afford anything other than a bicycle or e-bike, and it is absurd to ask people to ride the dirty, crowded buses that take three hours to get across town. Taxis are too expensive. Just leave the people alone.
I think most people agree and I think affordaable transportation for the average joe should be provided.
But those things are almost soundless and fast and heavy and a real danger to other people.
Let's say if they can afford a 5000-up kuai 100kph e-bike, i think they could afford a few hundred kuais to get a license and insurance so when they alost kill themselves or others somone is taking care of the damage.
They can still get ebikes.
They must be under 45kg and limited to 20kph. These are the standard cheap machines.
These are not restricted.