Where to buy an E-bike in Beijing?

Spring is coming and riding your own e-bike (电动车 – diàn dòng chē) could make your life easier: China is the country of e-bike: more than 90 percent of the world’s e-bikes were sold in China in 2012... and it is not expected to curb down, as the traffic gets worse and the government is controlling the number of car plates.

You’ve probably noticed that e-bike drivers have their own understanding about traffic regulations, including crossing red traffic lights or riding the opposite way line… Number of serious road incidents involve e-bike riders and we strongly advise you to wear an helmet to protect your head. But as an e-bike driver, you should also be aware that pedestrian will not hear you, unless you notice your presence… and slow down!

Different styles of electric vehicles

– Bicycle style electric bikes (look like traditional bicycles and have pedals) – only authorized e-vehicle within the 4th ring road as far as we know
 Scooter style electric bikes (no pedals, similar to scooters) – not allowed within the 4th ring road
E-cars (3 or 4 wheels vehicles, egg shape or mini car shape) – regulatory status is unclear, but they don’t look very safe
Hybrids (usually scooters) – not allowed as far as we know
E-kick scooter – unclear regulatory status.. you’d better practice on the side way before using it in peak time!

electric-bike

Scooter style electric bikes

Electric_Bicycle

Bicycle style electric bikes

 

How to register your vehicle?

As we said earlier, you can only register bicycle style electric bikes with pedals. Police station will suggest you can purchase an e-bike from the large chain supermarkets such as Auchan, Carrefour, Wal-Mart etc, but you can also buy from local shops (you will be able to bargain the price and it will be easier to get after sales services from the local shop owner). To register your bike—a process involving taking the license plates, purchase documents, your passport, and the 10 RMB fee to the area’s registration office – you can check our article “Electric bicycle registration regulations in Beijing”.

Batteries (电池 – diàn chí)

There are 2 types of batteries: sealed lead-acid (SLA) and lithium-ion (Li-ion). The vendor will ask you which kind of battery you prefer and you should ask him about the battery capacity (电池容量 – diàn chí ròng liàng) and characteristics:

  • SLA batteries (铅酸电池 – qiān suān diànchí) are cheaper and they have a life of one to two years, it takes around eight hours to charge completely, and they are removable but heavy. SLA batteries will have a range of up to 65 kilometers. Price should be around 1000-1500 RMB.
  • Li-ion batteries (锂电池 – lǐ diàn chí)  have a life of up to five years and they are usually lighter than SLA battery… depending on their size (48V, 60V and 72V, with different Ah or Amp hours or (安 – ān)). The price is from 1500 RMB. You can usually ride same or longer distance than SLA batteries:
    • Li-ion 20Ah battery can do a ride of 60 km,
    • a 30Ah battery: 85 km
    • a 40Ah battery: 110 km

Brakes

  • Drum brakes (毂刹 - gǔ shā)
  • Disc brakes (碟刹 - dié shā). Pick this one if you buy e-scooter, if it is safer. Not available on e-bikes with pedals.

Where to buy?

  • Beijing Riders  http://www.beijingriders.com/
  • Local shops
  • Classified section of The Beijinger (http://www.thebeijinger.com/). Some expats leaving Beijing will try to sell their e-bike or e-scooter. check on battery performances before taking your decision.
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About Marketing

I am living in China since 2007. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!