Dr David Hon of DAHON and Mr Ma Zhongchao of the China Bicycle Association have condemned the proposed e-bike ban in China.
Recent legislation in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and coming soon to Shenzhen forbids the use of e-bikes across large swathes of the cities. Founder and CEO of DAHON, the world’s largest manufacturer of folding bikes, Dr David Hon was compelled to write an open letter to the public, and to the government, speaking out against the regulations and urging lawmakers to draft “laws more conducive to environmental protection”.
The China Bicycle Association (CBA) responded with an official statement on April 12 2016. CBA Director Mr. Ma Zhongchao spoke out in support of Dr. David Hon’s letter, stating that for Shenzhen and other municipalities to take prohibitive action on e-bikes will have a profound and direct impact on local e-bike users.
Mr. Ma said that a “one size fits all” approach reflects lazy political thinking and that this simple and crude solution is not the first of its type. The bicycle industry has strongly expressed its opposition to such legislation in the past and has repeatedly stressed that local governments and authorities should think twice, act intelligently and with greater courage to address urban management problems. Mr. Ma shared that although the CBA’s concerns regarding the regulations were recently submitted to the Guangzhou Municipal People’s Congress for consideration, they are yet to receive any feedback.
Mr. Ma told reporters that empathy for the livelihood needs of ordinary people must be taken into account as well as the implementation of less stressful commuting: "Cities need tangible measures to protect the legitimate rights of way of various means of transport, eschewing costly, car-centric systems". He continued to state that the CBA has never opposed standardised management and has no objection to reasonable limiting measures.
The ban on E-bikes has caused widespread discontent and confusion among the Chinese population, the duo said, adding that the decision is particularly harmful to the poor and appears entirely at odds with the government’s stated policy to promote green energy and cut pollution.
Electric bikes are prohibited on ten major Beijing streets and across Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and other major cities. Mr. Ma Zhongchao and Dr. David Hon were clear that all told, there is no reason to forbid the use of electric bikes. As the experience of many other countries such as Sweden and Denmark have shown, mainland China should encourage the use of bicycles, traditional or electric, to help cut back on traffic and smog.