China doing well with electric mopeds
I've just come back from China. I had not realised but they have banned all petrol driven mopeds from the streets of the cities so they are ALL electric thousands of them. The build quality seems to have gone up from the one I purchased a few years ago. Having arrived from Jakarta, which swarms with polluting noisy motorbikes, it was just really great to see I literally couldn't believe my eyes and ears.
i have read nightmare accounts of the state of transportation in Jakarta. No public transportation, 2-stroke scooters being the only affordable option for most. The quiet of the Chinese city streets must be remarkable. Surely the notorious air quality must be much improved?
Closer to my home, I noticed that at least 50% of the scooters on the streets of Toronto are now electric and their quality seems to be better than I have been able to find in the US, where poor Chinese quality continues to greatly inhibit interest in them. But the only 2-wheel electric vehicles allowed in Ontario must be fitted with those token pedals and have a maximum speed on only 32 kph - the same rules for electrified bicycles. Most of the scooters I saw had the pedals detached and seemed to be going faster than 32 kph and the police were not bothering them. They (and all scooters and motorcycles) are allowed to park for free on the curb-side of sidewalks downtown, although this rule would have to change if they become any more popular. The limited speed makes them practical only in the city (where there is good public transportation anyway) not the suburbs. But I suspect the $3 fares and often crowded condition on the streetcars and buses are driving their popularity, and well as the green attitudes of Canadian urbanites (Toronto's Cadillac Escalade-driving mayor excepted.
As far as higher speed electric scooters and motorcycles - the only way to operate one in Ontario is on a case-by-case basis as an "electric conversion vehicle" - very aggravating for anyone wanting to introduce full-performance electric motorcycles to this big market.
In Cheng Du pop 12 million the pollution was not really noticeable at all. We were fairly surprised after all of the warnings. One thing helping the situation is that most cars seem to have been recently purchased and the streets are very wide; a generous 8 lanes on most arterial roads. I think Bejing may be a different matter all together as it just so vast. It may also be due to the measurement of pollution through NOx measurements, rather than the far more vile unburnt hydrocarbons and particulates which come from old engines. Ougadogu (sp) in Burkina Faso was unbelieveably bad and should have a health warning written into the runway at the 'international' airport, (which is not much more than a barn).
The quality of the Chinese mopeds does seem to be going up and up. On display were 1st gen to latest models all with subtle improvements. But still the best advice I can give when buying a Chinese moped is buy 2 - one for parts! I must have replaced a dozen bits and pieces in three years.
I did not see any mopeds with easily removable battery packs. Not everyone has a garage and it would be sensible if you could unclip the pack to wheel it into the house to give it a charge in some descreet corner. This would really boost sales.
Glad to hear things are picking up in Canada despite the quirky legislation.
Here in Bristol England, it is pretty hilly, and I think there are only a handful of electric bikes in the city, though there are quite a few powered bicycles.
I long for the realization amongst politicians that due to the easily fixable nature of electric mopeds, they last much longer and represent a huge saving to any nation which insists on their usage.