e-bike - Google News

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Electric bike an environmental carbon 'game changer': report

Luyuan, the Chinese eBike manufacturing giant, was recently cited in research as a cultural, environmental and economic "game changer" for China's carbon-emissions programmes.

Two models of the company's low-priced Gio brand of eScooter are sold in Canada.

The report lists seven carbon-emissions game changers that it says " have each developed a low-carbon innovation that has the potential to make a significant contribution to emissions reductions and the move to a low-carbon society. In five years time, five of these innovations could together be saving up to 66 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year."

The other two game-changers, it says, "could have total savings of 270 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year... These are equivalent to the greenhouse-gas emissions of 25 million and 100 million Chinese homes respectively, or 4% and 16% of total Chinese emissions in 2006."

Carbon changers

The seven companies listed in the report,  commissioned by the United Kingdom's National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts:
  • Global Environment Institute (GEI) is a Chinese NGO that has set up a full low-carbon agriculture system for poor farmers in the south-western province of Yunnan.
  • Himin is one of China’s largest producers of solar-thermal water tanks, a market that is in turn dominated globally by Chinese companies.
  • Hangzhou ISAW Technology Corporation (ISAW) has a range of products that build on chief executive Yuan Yijun’s scientific expertise to exploit “psychrometric” principles, regarding the different physical and thermodynamic properties of vapour mixtures, to provide low-cost, relatively low-tech and low-carbon alternatives to a range of processes that are usually extremely energy intensive, such as air-conditioning and solar desalination of salt water.
  • L├╝yuan is a major manufacturer of electric bicycles and was the first Chinese company to develop an e-bike. 
  • Pearl Hydrogen is also targeting the e-bike sector, amongst its various products, but using its innovative, but low-cost and simplified, fuel-cell technology.
  • Shengchang Bioenergy is making high-quality pellets from agricultural residues that would otherwise simply be burned in the field, as well as the stoves and boilers to maximise the efficiency of combustion. 
  • ZNHK (Beijing Sinen En-Tech) offers a water purification system that allows the high temperature recycling of water in industrial processes.


The report concludes with four observations on how the carbon-emission benefits from these game changers can be maximized:
  1. New policy options could create more opportunities for innovation and growth in these areas.
  2. Policymakers need to enable, rather than to restrict or control the sectors.
  3. Encouraging widespread participation could improve governance.
  4. Promote partnerships with smaller innovative business, research organizations and small-to-medium-sized local and international business, rather than government-to-government or via large multinational corporations.
Not just carbon

As increasing numbers of eBikes switch from lead-acid batteries to lithium-based cells, the value of lead futures and lead mining stock is falling like --- er, lead.

According to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group’s (ILZSG) findings as reported in a Reuters article, the price of lead is "set for further declines."

Lead pollution from unrecycled batteries has often been cited as a negative factor for promoting eBikes as an environmentally beneficial transportation.

Many jurisdictions, however, have introduced easier recycling methods and more facilities to deconstruct the batteries to minimize environmental leakage. 

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