The demand for electric scooters and alternative energy is ever-growing throughout the world. China, in particular, is leading the way for more efficient means of transportation. Bikes and scooters are extremely popular in China, with electric scooters seeing major growth. The need for independent forms of transportation while avoiding adding to the major problem with levels of pollution and, ultimately, global climate change is part of why this motorized form of transportation rules the roads in cities in China.
Electric Scooter Growth
The scooter craze all began with a very humble beginning in China, where the government in 1999 designated that certain electric bikes could be considered a bicycle, rather than a vehicle. This allowed electric scooters to travel along the bike lanes and, more importantly, did not require the purchasing of a license and registration. This opened up accessibility in both places you could travel, which ban use of gas scooters or motorcycles, and allowed for more people to drive electric scooters due to lower fee for entry.
While electric scooters started with very basic builds of bikes with small motors with battery packs strapped to them (they were more like makeshift bike hybrids that still required the use of the pedals), they have evolved into a very versatile, safe, and dependable form of transportation for millions of people.
How Society is Evolving
The growing pains of transition from the humble hybrid bike design to something that closer resembles a mini motorcycle caused serious safety concerns for the bicyclists that had to share the lanes of these faster, heavier electric scooter drivers. As a result, more regulations have been crafted over the past decade or so to prevent the high concentrations in major metropolitan areas, with restrictions thinning out as you reach more rural areas.
An example of how future regulations look for the increase of electric scooters in urban areas, the Chinese government enacted what is referred to as the “20-40 rule” that mandated all two-wheeled bikes to adhere to 20km per hour speed and a 40kg weight limit. This rule also included the banning of all electric scooters from bikes lines in the most congested areas of cities, while leaving it up for outside local governments to enforce these rules as they deem necessary.
This just shows you how far the electric scooter has progressed from its humble beginnings as an alternative form of transportation for those who cannot afford their own car or motorcycle, which may are may not allow one more freedom of travel through some parts of China.