In some big cities like Shanghai in China, we seldom see the people who ride motorcycles. For reasons of safety and air quality, governments forbid to drive motorcycles on the road, and also reduce the quantity. But another reason is the motorcycles face very fierce competition, on the one hand, from the bikes, bikes are more safe (China is famous as a "bicycle kingdom"), on the other hand, from the traffic jam that caused by the car.
At the same time, a large of electric bicycles appear on every street in China. There may be 470 million bicycles now, but we cannot deny the popularity of electric cars. The number of electric vehicles has been increased steadily, now has reached 120 million, up 5.2 million from last year.
Now, however, electric car industry stand at a crossroads: similar to a group of local industry, it is also a high dispersion and low efficiency industry. Not only that, this industry need to enlarge the foreign new market. And now it relies on domestic sales basically. According to the statistics of China bicycle association, electric cars production is 29.5 million units in 2010, and about 585,000 of them used for export. About 29 million in the global were sold which said in the global report of electric bicycle, the United States was 80,000 units and Europe was 1.02 million units.
So far, some barriers restricted the growth of the electric car industry in China. For example, in 1996, Shanghai forbid to drive scooters which need to use gasoline. Up to now, Shanghai motorcycles regard the liquefied petroleum gas as the fuel (it is legal, but the quantity is limited), or the motorcycles get the license tag in other places.
Municipal of Tennessee University and professor of environmental engineering Cherry (Christopher r. Cherry) points out that in addition to many cities to ban motorcycles on the road, other factors include the 2003 "SARS" events, people for fear of infection and refused bus or subway, new housing and employment policy made the commute mileage more long, the increase of disposable income, more roads and road conditions be better, and so on. Because many people still can't afford to buy a car, electric car becomes "Cadillac" for working-class. This car is equipped with removable battery, it is very convenient to charge at home or in office. They're more like small motors and listed as non-motor vehicles, so there are not so many limits in many cities.
Meantime, there are too many competitors of electric car industry. More than 2600 electric car manufacturers in China, but majority is from other producers and then simply assemble the purchase parts. Only about 60 are the real manufacturer.
High dispersed market
General manager (Ed) Benjamin of Florida eCycleElectric Consultants company said, for this reason, the electric car industry mergers in recent years, and he predicted it will become a tendency. As a veteran who worked about 30 years of bicycle industry in the United States, Benjamin said: "I think this kind of situation will continue until every province appear two or three large and small enterprises."
Others are negative. "Now the industry is fragmented, and more enterprises continue to crowd into" business administration of Tokyo University professor Masatoshi Kojima concluded. He is also a researcher of creative management center of Tokyo University. "The key to change this situation is whether Chinese consumers need more high quality products, including electric cars." To raise threshold to entry.
In the domestic market of electric cars,the foreign producers are very few, so it is easier to maintain this situation, and at least in the short term they will gain more profits.
If the electric car manufacturers don’t improve the quality of products, the industry is likely to decline. Benjamin warned, "quality, especially to maintain consistent quality, it is a big problem." He said, "Chinese has quite a lot of businessmen think the ways to make money is compressed material cost, this resulting the quality of the products is low, and users are not satisfied. For Chinese businessmen, it is a good business."
Technology policy analyst of global change center of Duke University Mr. Yang (Chi - Jen Yang) said, "there are some cultural factors from the mainland. As long as Chinese consumers prefer to choose low price rather than quality, the product quality cannot improve."
Explore the deep reasons
Low quality cannot attract the foreign customers. Tennessee University Cherry said, the U.S. enterprises import electric vehicles which are made in China, but always do not comply with the safety standards of U.S., and the quality is low.
But Benjamin also pointed out that part of the electric car exporters have sighs of improvement in China, such as, Yongjiu brand, Feige brand, Tu’er brand, Bashan brand and Yadi brand. They will learn from Giant brand, Merida brand, and Ideal brand and Fairly brand. Benjamin said, Taiwan companies sell the ordinary bicycles through distribution channel for 30 years, they are smart on the international trade, and also good at it.
Accell and Gazelle of Europe also imported the electric bicycle parts from China.At the same time, the Japanese Yamaha, Honda and other motor companies also established a joint venture in China, the production of high-grade electric main supplied to the local market.Small motorcycles are popular in Japan also.
Poor control of the potholes
Chineseelectric vehicle manufacturer also has a certain advantage, because population of 800 million is a huge potential consumer groups." Over the next five to ten years, the development of Chinese rural is worthy of attention." Professor Yang said, "rural market competition for electric cars and motors which use gasoline as fuel will be a key problem of Chinese electric car industry in the future. I cannot answer to this."
An important problem is that now the electric vehicles aredesigned for short distance and light weight in China, rural road conditions are more difficult.Benjamin said, "if a farmer take the pig to the rural market, the function of the electric car is better than a motorcycle."
Outside the city, "the journey is longer, the speed limit is higher, the traffic is worse, electric cars are not suitable for there." Cherry said. "I have been waiting for a brand that can enough compete with low-cost Chinese production motorcycle, then have competition in China and overseas. But in the rural areas still can't see this kind of situation."
Manufacturing management research center of Tokyo university researcher ze-jiang lisaid, he noticed that the ownership of electric carhas increased in outside city andrural area. Low price of electric bikes is a big factor.A motorcycle price is 5000 yuan to 5000 yuan (about $788 to $1261), but electric vehicle is only 1500 yuan to 3000 yuan.Furthermore, some electriccars can adapt a long distance.Researcher li said: "I was so surprised to see some electric cars can run 100 kilometers above after charging. Can you imagine? That is to say, the electric power is enough to drive from Shanghai to Suzhou(100 km)."
Prompting the electric car industry upgrading is not the demand for travel, but is the fear of environment and safety.In China and elsewhere, the consumers realizedthat the electric car is more energy efficient, and does not produce carbon emissions directly, but it is still not as good as imagined.According to statistics of the China bicycle association, 97.5% of annual production of electric vehicles of China uses lead-acid batteries, rather than [兴发娱乐的网址]Lithium Ion batteries.The former is caused by a series of lead pollution event.Earlierthis year, officials closed several pollution manufacturersof the vehicles.
[兴发娱乐的网址]Lithium Ion batteries are lighter, and more durable, but 2.5 times more expensive than lead-acid batteries.However, according to the average power consumption per kilometer, thecost of [兴发娱乐的网址]Lithium Ion battery is not so much higher than lead acid battery.
Bigger, faster,and more dangerous
Even so, some urban has considered to limit electric vehicles due to a series of accidents. “You needn’t to ignore any traffic lights or traffic control, you can ride in anyplace, including the pavement” a seller of electric vehicle store warmly said, “you don't need a driving license.”
Electric cars are dangerous because of low noise than other vehicles and their faster driving. Traffic deaths of electric vehicles was over 3600 in 2009, and 2500 deaths in 2007. Some measures required, the weight of electric vehicles should not exceed 40 kg (88 pounds), and driving speed should not exceed 20 kilometers per hour. But now many electric vehicles are overweight and speeding on the road. Manufacturers or retailers or motor car driversall turn a blind eye to the laws and regulations.
Cherry said, “this kind of ‘faster’ trend has certain warning function, because driving license, age, insurance (and similar questions) should be regulated. In a report of the development of electric vehicles and influence on trip, Cherry suggested to introduce electric vehicle driving license in order to improve the security and control the quantity.
Although the central governmentswant to solve this problem, but the local governments give some resistance. In 2009, the national standardization management committeeredrafted the management scheme for the electric vehicles and regulated the electric vehicle with two-wheeled will be regarded as motorcycle if the weight wasover 40 kilograms and speeding was over 20 kilometers per hour, in addition to the compulsory insurance, driving license, and it was forbidden to usethe bike lanes. But eventually the management committeegave up the draft, because of opposition parties, they said if according to this standard, it could force hundreds of electric factory closed, and lead to millions of electric vehicles drivers suffered unjust punishment.
However, this debate has not yet come to an end." I don't think the government will outlaw the electric vehicles, after all, they are very popular in China,"Michigan EBWR publishersFrank Jamerson predicted. He retired fromelectric vehicle program of GM in 1993.He said, "They will take out laws and regulationsin order to improve the security and performance."
In cherry point of view, this situation reflects the universal contradiction between the central and local governments.He said, "in the end, a city maybe has a policy, so it is difficult to see where the changes will happen."
Article source: China battery network