Traffic police officers in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, seize unlicensed electric bikes and freight tricycles in March. Image: XUAN HUI/CHINA DAILY
The local governments of Shenzhen and Beijing have clamped down on electric bicycles. Shenzhen government has banned electric bicycles and tricycles that do not meet the national standards from April 1, whilst Beijing will ban electric two-wheel vehicles from 10 roads from the start of next week.
According to the national standards formulated 17 years ago, the speed of electric bikes and tricycles should not surpass 20 kilometers an hour, engine power be below 240w and weight be below 40 kg, or it would be taken as illegal. 90% of electric bikes and tricycles today would be disqualified as their top speed varies between 50 and 70 km an hour.
Electric bikes and tricycles were said to be dangerous and responsible for a considerable number of accidents because the brakes were not powerful enough to match the speed.
In an action that starting from March 21, police impounded 17,975 e-bikes and tricycles, and detained 874 people for driving without certificates. Image: 7guzhen.com
In just 10 days starting from March 21, the public security department of Shenzhen put more than 800 people under administrative detention for driving without certificates and nearly 200 people for involvement in illegal passenger services. Drivers could be fined 2,000 yuan (US$317) and detained for 15 days if they were caught driving on roads.
As for Beijing, the banning roads will include the extended Chang'an Avenue, the city's main thoroughfare, and several around Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing.
The 10 roads have heavy traffic, higher accident rates and often do not have bicycle lanes, according to the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau.
Police from Shenzhen said the authorities remain firm over illegal e-bike and tricycle services because such vehicles were illegally refitted and couldn't be licensed by authorities.
Shenzhen and Beijing. Image: BWPI
Logistic companies would be widely affected as they often use illegal e-bikes and tricycles to transport goods. The police had asked them to stop using e-bikes that were not registered.
A senior official from Shenzhen’s traffic police bureau said at a press conference yesterday that this citywide action against electric bikes wasn’t targeting the courier industry.
“We have decided to add 5,000 quotas for e-bikes and e-trikes and will appropriately increase the quotas according to the needs of the courier service providers,” Xu Wei, chief of Shenzhen’s traffic police bureau, said at the news conference.