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20% Electric Bikes Fail to Meet Standards: Survey

A sample survey by China's quality watchdog, the State Quality and Quarantine Administration, showed that 20 percent of Chinese electric bikes fail to meet minimum standards, the Economic Information Daily said on Tuesday.

The survey, which covered 70 electric bike producers in Tianjin, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shandong, said only 56 of the 70 types of electric bikes surveyed are up to standard.

The major problem areas are the braking system and the speed limit design.

Battery-driven bikes are popular in China because of their low gas emission, low price, and because they are lightweight and needless space to park and drive.

There are 1,400 electric bike producers in China, with a combined annual output of 6 million units. Most of them have a production capacity of less than 10,000 units a year.

According to the China Bicycle Association, there are now 15 million electric bikes in the country. Experts predict that the number could surge to 40 million in the coming 10 years, as more bike users shift to battery-driven bicycles.

However, electric bikes are banned in some Chinese cities because they stand accused of contributing to a rising number of road accidents.

Zhuhai in south China's Guangdong Province took the lead in banning electric bikes on roads starting July 1.

The ban aroused public debate about whether the ban is legal and reasonable.

Statistics show that one person is killed in a road accident in China every five minutes. Each year, more than 100,000 people are killed in traffic-related accidents in the country, the highest figure in the world.

(Xinhua News Agency October 26, 2005)

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