Lakhs of Beijingers are returning to the use of bicycles. Only, these are electric bikes – battery-powered and silent. This shift has taken place thanks to clogged roads in Beijing which is home to over four million cars. While these speedy bikes are a commonplace on Beijing’s roads, the government officials are in a fix on ways to handle the situation.
It is interesting to note that China was once referred to as the “kingdom of bicycles”. It was common to see people cycle to work in Beijing in the 80s. With prosperity, came in four-wheeled vehicles. But the circle has come a full 3600 now. According to a survey, only one in five residents has an ordinary bike. People do not wish to spend time waiting for a bus which could again get stuck in a traffic jam. An electric bike reduces the time of travel and also traffic blocks. Plus, it does not tire the rider as it is electric. The bicycles are said to be environment friendly and cheap. The costliest of these vehicles can be bought for US$390 or £260.