Currently there are approximately 140 million EV 2-wheelers in use in China. Last year, the booming Asian economy manufactured about 25 million EV 2-wheelers, of which some 600,000 were exported. Researchers Frost and Sullivan indicate that by 2017 China will account for 96 percent of the sector.
“We estimate the annual growth of EV2wheelers in China will maintain 10% or more than that. In 2015, we estimate the production volume will reach 35 million and export volume will reach 2 million,” says Sun Li, an engineer from the China Electronic Society.
2010 140 million 2011 167 million 2012 195 million 2013 225 million 2014 257 million 2015 292 million 2016 330 million 2017 370 million
Electric bicycles are an attractive option for commuters, service people, and couriers. At a cost of 1,500-3000 RMB, an electric bike is much more affordable than an automobile. Also the ban on gas-powered motocycles has stimulated the growth of EV 2-wheelers. Currently more than ninety Chinese cities ban motorcycles. Then there are rising gasoline prices to factor into the rush for EV 2 wheelers.
The People’s Republic boasts 2,600 approved EV 2-wheeler manufacturers, Of these, 800 are involved in mass production. Manufacturers like Xinri, Yadea, Evermaser and Fushida are the leading players in the market. More than half of the manufacturers are based in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces near Shanghai and in Tianjin, close to Beijing in the northeast.
The Chinese city leading the development of high-end EV 2 wheelers is Wuxi in Jiangsu Province. Others are catching up. For instance, Taizhou in Zhejiang is establishing a dedicated industrial park focusing exclusively on churning out these bikes.
China has no shortage of battery firms too. Large companies such as BYD Battery, Shenzhen BAK Battery, Shenzhen B and K Technology and Tianjin Lishen Battery control the majority of the market, though there are hundreds more besides.
Beijing has a number of policies in place to nurture development of this sector. There is, for instance, a 17% return on taxes for exporting Li-ion batteries. In order to encourage investors to introduce advanced technologies into China, the government also offers additional tax incentives to enterprises that are classified as foreign-invested enterprises with advanced technologies.
Also the government has been promoting its “EV 2-wheelers to the countryside” policy. EV 2-wheeler buyers from rural areas can get subsidies from the government, a ruling that first started out with car sales as part of the stimulus package post-financial crisis.
Going forward, the key forces that will drive market growth in China include improvements in bike and battery technology – deriving particularly from product modularity and modular industry structure. Another growth factor will be strong local regulatory support in the form of gasoline-powered motorcycle bans. At present, some cities prohibit EV 2-wheelers due to safety concerns in urban areas.
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