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Anybody want an electric bicycle?

March 21, 2012

Jasen, one of the two Chinese guys in the HAXLR8R program, arranged for us to visit the Mei Ling Electric Vehicle factory a little north of town.  We took the subway to the end of the line and a driver met us there to bring us to the factory.

I’ll put out a longer post on this at some time, but China has millions (perhaps gazillions) of electric moped-like vehicles.  In fact, it’s pretty rare to see a gas-powered motorbike, which is a great thing for air quality and noise levels.

Our plan was to see if their factory would be interesting in fabricating the M4 frames, but when we arrived it was obvious that they weren’t interested in that, and they weren’t really set up for it anyway.  But since we’re ninja masters at the art of the deal (The Donald is looking over his shoulder) we made the best of the opportunity.  Their main product was a low-performance Vespa-like scooter with lead acid batteries.  I didn’t see much of a market for that type of bike in the US — to say nothing of the hassle in getting it US legal.  However, they did make a sweet little electric-assist bicycle with lithium ion cells.  I think it would be a hit on campuses or in retirement communities.

So we had a grand time for the rest of the afternoon tooling around the parking lot on the bike and talking to Lily about the details of importing them.  They want $325 per bike FOB Shenzhen for quantities of around 100 — about a container load.  I’m not sure it makes any economic sense but we’re thinking about it.  Anybody out there Jonesin’ to get one?


Top — Lily and the gang.
Second — Lily showing me some of the features.
Third — Executing a high-speed maneuver in the parking lot.
Last — The assembly line tooled up for scooter manufacture.


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One Comment
  1. Steve permalink

    Steve Troy at Green China Direct has been sending me info on ebikes and scooters for a while now. The prices are rediculously cheap but if they are anything like the electric scooters we have seen they just don’t hold up and no one seems to be able to get parts or want to work on them. Do they have one with a five year guarantee?

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