It is hard to disagree with BBBS when they oppose this particular piece of partiality towards cars and against bikes. My only uncertainty concerns the fact that someone has to decide about how roads are administered, and there just might be good reasons for this, besides trying to hurry along the making of a big home market for cars in China, and clearing the proles off the roads, to speed things up for fat cat limos.
That hesitation aside, this certainly looks like a classic case of a law to stop the potential future from competing with the established present. Cars are already big business. Electricity for transport has a long way to go, but will surely go that long way, if allowed to. Batteries, to name just one crucial aspect of electric transport technology, seem to be progressing well, judging by how much better digital camera batteries have got lately. So is China wise to be deliberately trying to rebuild old Detroit?
The libertarian line on all this, which of course is the one I prefer, is that road owners should price the use of roads, and then the market would decide whether electric bikes are a reasonable proposition or too much of a bother to other road users, such as cars. Something tells me that this solution will not be unleashed in China any time soon, although that something may be misinformed.
Whatever you make of this story, it is an interesting angle on China now. My personal policy towards China is (a) trade with it by buying cheap stuff, and (b) learn about it, good and bad, and (c) blog about it, ditto. And one interesting thing I learned from reading this story is that in China they apparently have something called the China Bicycle Association. Concerning this ban on electric bikes, the China Bicycle Association is “enraged”. Good to hear that associations in China are allowed to be enraged. I could not find any China Bicycle Association website though.