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Disruptive Innovation on Two Wheels: Chinese Urban Transportation and Electrification of the Humble Bike

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Document pages: 6 pages

Abstract: This communication argues that the electrification of the conventional bicycle could perhaps be a solution to the issues surrounding urban transportation in emerging economies. As illustrated through the trajectory of E-Bike development and adoption in China, such innovations can be disruptive when implemented in untapped mass markets of the developing world. A historical as well as prospective lens was adopted to describe the socio-economic significance of E-bike expansion in China. Further, by simultaneously considering the current Chinese urban transport mix, the primary energy use in transport as well as projections of future E-Bikes sales, it is also asserted that that, although the E-Bike is not an entirely sustainable solution to urban transport; it however is a solution that has the potential to achieve high sustainability. The realization of any environmental co-benefits due to the adoption of the E-Bike hinges primarily upon the adoption of improvements in other sectors of the economy (electricity generation). Indeed, the E-Bike does exemplify that grass-root, inexpensive and sustainable solutions to our urban transportation problems do exist.

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