By Marc Cesare, Small Vehicle ResourceWatch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)
The Chinese government is developing new rules to regulate the low-speed vehicle market in China. This portion of the electric vehicle market has been largely unregulated since the vehicles top speed is below 100 kph. This has lead to a proliferation of poorly made vehicles reliant on polluting lead acid batteries to serve a booming market. In the Shandong province over 330,000 vehicles were sold in the first eight months of this year alone as the relatively inexpensive vehicles address a need for short-distance transportation.
According to the regulating body, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the government will legalize vehicle manufactures that meet the standards governing EV startups and regulate them under those requirements, while enacting technical specifications for the rest. The new regulations fit into an overall push by the government to encourage innovation, develop expertise and create competition in the Chinese auto industry. The head of the leading battery supplier to the low-speed electric vehicle market expects the new regulations will boost the market. Learn more: Bllomberg.com
It will be interesting to see what impact the new regulations will have on the costs of the vehicles and subsequently their popularity. Another question is will the government push the manufacturers to move away from lead acid batteries. This could significantly impact vehicle pricing. Low-speed vehicles continue to be more viable outside of the United States, whether in crowded urban areas or, as is the case in China, in rural areas.