E-bikes Regulation in Beijing

AuthorYu Lingyun, Shi Lidong, Zhao Lijun
YU Lingyun
SHI Lidong
ZHAO Lijun
E-bikes regulation is a comprehensive urban traffic management, which connects all links and
involves the participation of all interested parties. In Beijing, the E-bike governance has been
changed from prohibition to regulation, which mainly concentrates on three aspects:
product quality, registration for license plates, and management of non-standard vehicles.
Product Catalog is an administrative guide demonstrating national standards that connect
various regulation means: E-bikes should be qualified under the Catalog; the department of
transportation manages the registration of electric bicycles and the application of license plates
through the Catalog. Registration and license plates provide the transportation police with a
means to effectively control the E-bikes running on the road. The transitional period of non-
standard-vehicles is a beneficial attempt to balance the public’s well-being, government’s
power, and citizens’ rights and obligations.
In order to regulate traffic congestion and alleviate air pollution,
Beijing has issued traffic control policies such as restricting the
purchase of motor vehicles and prohibiting the use of motorcycles.
The electric bicycle (hereinafter referred to as E-bike), standing out
for being convenient, environmentally friendly, and cost-efficient, has
been popular since it entered into the market. E-bike serves as an
alternative means of transportation highly preferred by the public,
especially the low-and-moderate-income population. As is estimated,
there are roughly 4 million E-bikes in Beijing at present, with an
average annual growth of 800,000 E-bikes.1
However, the rise of E-bikes has brought about various
management problems mainly centering around vehicles and riders.
On one hand, the majority of E-bikes fail to meet national
standards. Among the E-bike models2 in the market, many have the
1 Data come from the presentation of Mrs. Guo Jinzhi, President of Beijing Bicycle & Electric
Vehicles Industry Association.
2 Those E-bikes including the standard E-bikes and non-standard ones. Before 15th April 2019, non-
standard E-bike means E-bike out of the national standard (GB 17761-1999) but meet the local standard,
problems of being overweight and over-speeding. Low-quality
reflection devices below the national standard also pose major safety
risks. According to the results of E-bike quality-monitoring
announced by the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce
on May 13, 2013, a total of 10 E-bike models were categorized as
unqualified products; three other models did not meet the
requirements of national standards though they were categorized as
qualified products.3
On the other hand, E-bikes have invoked traffic accidents with high
mortality rates and noticeable violations of traffic rules. In 2004, the
nationwide number of deaths in traffic accidents caused by E-bike was
589 and the number of injuries was 5,295.4 In 2013, the number of
deaths surged to 5,752 and the number of injuries reached 29,010.5
During this decade, the number of deaths has increased by 8.8 times
and the number of injuries has increased by 4.5 times. There are three
types of common violations of traffic rules. First, the majority of E-
bikes are not registered with license plates. A field research of E-bikes
on the street of Beijing on May 24, 2012 showed that, of 296 E-bikes
passing by in more than 40 minutes, only less than a quarter put on
especially on the factors of weight and battery power. It is legitimate to make local standards because of
the vast majority of factors in that national standard is just recommendatory rather than compulsory. See
Guojia Zhiliang Jishu Jianduju ( 国家质量技术监督局) [State Bureau of Quality & Technical
Supervision], GB 17761-1999, Diandong Zixingche Tongyong Jishu Tiaojian (电动自行车通用技术条
) [Electric BicyclesGeneral technical requirements] (1999), invalidated by GB 17761-2018 (2018).
However, there was no E-bike manufacturer in Beijing, which means the quality inspection department
in Beijing cannot inspect the productive process of E-bike according the local standard enacted by other
provinces. More details will be discussed in the Part V.
3 According to another quality monitoring result two months later, 13 models were determined as
unqualified products; another 2 models did not meet the requirements of national standards although they
were determined as qualified products. See Beijing Shi Gongshangju Liutong Lingyu Diandong
Zixingche Zhiliang Jieguo Gongshi ( 北京市工商局流通领域电动自行车质量监测结果公示)
[Announcement of Quality Monitoring Results of E-bikes in Circulation Area in Beijing], BEIJING GOVT
(May 13, 2013), http://gsj.beijing.gov.cn/gzfw/spzlgs/spzlgs/201801/t20180109_1388843.html [here-
inafter Announcement of Results]; Announcement of Results, supra note 3, BEIJING GOVT (July 10,
2013), http://gsj.beijing.gov.cn/gzfw/spzlgs/spzlgs/201801/t20180109_1388855.html; Announcement of
Results, supra note 3, BEIJING GOVT (Aug. 2, 2013), http://gsj.beijing.gov.cn/gzfw/spzlgs/spzlgs/20180
4 See Gonganbu Jiaotong Guanliju (公安部交通管理局) [Traffic Admin. Bureau of Ministry of Pub.
Sec.], Daolu Jiaotong Shigu Tongji Nianbao (2004 Niandu) (路交通事故统计年报(2004年度)) [Ann.
Rep. on Stat. of Road Traffic Accidents (2004)].
5 See Gonganbu Jiaotong Guanliju (公安部交通管理局) [Traffic Admin. Bureau of Ministry of Pub.
Sec.], Daolu Jiaotong Shigu Tongji Nianbao (2013 Niandu) (路交通事故统计年报(2013年度)) [Ann.
Rep. on Stat. of Road Traffic Accidents (2013)].

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