While this report mentioned by DaveW is really exciting: NPR Report: EBikes Trendy in China
There is much more going on with transportation in China. This weeks episode of Living On Earth has a piece along these lines. LOE is a Public Radio International (PRI is associated with NPR) program which I listen to as a podcast.
For transportation in China they discuss what I've read elsewhere... that there is growing prosperity in China and cars is becoming more common. The story focused on Beijing, I think, and there the bicycle riders are often having a hard time due to more cars.
There's a kind of crazy making thing here that's a form of society superiority. If I look at China and say "they ought to stay with bicycles and not adopt cars" but how is it okay for me to continue driving a car? That's what I mean by 'society superiority'. DaveW's signature reads 'be the change you want to see in the world' which I believe comes from Ghandi, and one way I see that statement is to make the change in myself which I want others to make. It's worrisome that China and India are both more frequently driving cars and ramping up energy use and thereby ramping up their pollution output. But the truth is that in the U.S. we consume a much higher proportion of energy per person than anywhere else, and therefore produce a much higher proportion of pollution per person than anywhere else. The reason I worry about India and China increasing their energy use is if their huge populations were to start consuming 'energy' at the same proportion we do in the U.S. .. well .. that's just gonna make this issue of global carbon levels and global warming all the more worse than it already is.
The LOE show also has a recording of Sen. Hillary Clinton at a debate, and one of the things she does is point at India and say that rather than make deals with India for Nuclear energy (as Pres Bush did, in violation of the anti-proliferation treaties) she would act to encourage them to use solar and wind and other alternatives. Okay, I happen to agree with her, but it's a kind of social superiority to point at India and not point the same level of demand at our own people. And for that matter, having been to India myself, I know very well that India is already practicing alternative energy in a much bigger way than we do in the U.S.