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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Technology -Electric vehicles

1- EV1. Who killed the electric car
2-  China's electric-bicycle boom: Pedals of fire | The Economist

1- EV-1. Who killed the electric car
A murder mystery, a call to arms and an effective inducement to rage, Who Killed the Electric Car?   is the latest and one of the more successful additions to the growing ranks of issue-oriented documentaries.
                     - The New York Times
A potent hybrid of passion and politics fuel this energetic and highly compelling documentary.
...If $3-a-gallon gasoline doesn't make you hate the big oil companies, the shocking revelations in Chris Paine's thought-provoking documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?
                           ..Musetto, New York Post

It was among the fastest, most efficient production cars ever built. It ran on electricity, produced no emissions and catapulted American technology to the forefront of the automotive industry. The lucky few who drove it never wanted to give it up. So why did General Motors crush its fleet of EV-1 electric vehicles in the Arizona desert?
Who Killed the Electric Car? (watch the film -all 9 parts-- in youtube) chronicles the life and mysterious death of the EV-1; examining the cultural and economic ripple effects caused by its conception and how they reverberated through the halls of government and big business.
A searing indictment of big business and greed, Who Killed The Electric Car? is a well-tuned doc that simultaneously entertains and enrages.
Chris Paine promoting Who Killed the Electric Car?

to see the other side: Response from General Motors

2- China's electric-bicycle boom: Pedals of fire | The Economist

China's electric-bicycle boom: Pedals of fire | The Economist

China's electric-bicycle boom
Pedals of fire
The Chinese authorities weigh the pros and cons of motorised bicycles

May 13th 2010 | From The Economist print edition
Pedestrians beware

PEDESTRIANS in China are often terrorised by electric bicycles zipping along the country’s pavements. China’s authorities, too, seem to have been caught unawares by an industry that, like the bikes themselves, has emerged speedily and stealthily from the shadows: local output grew from a few thousand bikes a year less than a decade ago to more than 22m last year, along with millions of kits to turn ordinary bicycles into electric ones. Annual sales have reached about $11 billion. The government is suddenly paying attention—but its urge to regulate is pulling it in two different directions.

More and more Chinese cyclists, it seems, would like a battery and motor to turn the wheels for them. Production of ordinary bicycles, which peaked in 2006 at nearly 80m units, has since fallen by more than 25%. But as with many businesses in China, the electric-bike industry is plagued by too much capacity, thin margins and variable quality. More than 2,600 firms had permits to make electric bikes last year, although only around 1,000 are thought to be using them. Most started as conventional bicycle-makers; others have come from the motorcycle business. The biggest manufacturer, Jiangsu Xinri Electric Vehicle Co, produced 1.8m “e-bikes” last year. Its lead is under threat from at least half a dozen other manufacturers. One rival, Tianjin Aima Science and Technology Co, says it is gearing up to make more than 5m bikes a year; Jiangsu Yadea Technical Development Co hopes to triple its sales to 3m this year.

Manufacturers believe exports will grow quickly, especially to Europe and North America, which accounted for more than 70% of the nearly 1m bikes sent abroad in 2009. One in every eight bicycles sold in the Netherlands these days is electric. Better yet, Chinese manufacturers secured an average price of $377 per exported bike, compared with less than $100 three years ago and just $46 for a pedal bike.

But the government is threatening to put a legislative spoke in the industry’s wheels. Until recently there were few laws regulating electric bikes: they do not need to be registered, nor do their drivers need a licence.

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