China’s seniors dodge police beat traffic in electric minicars

5 мая 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи China’s seniors dodge police beat traffic in electric minicars отключены
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Cars names like Constant Victory Bull Power Flouting urban traffic grandparents drive them on the run Despite central government factories rev up output


BEIJING – Speeding up one-way and ignoring red lights, Liu Wenhe any Beijing cop to get in his way.

If the police to confiscate my car, I’ll them to take my wife laughs Liu, 62, gesturing to his 61-year-old wife in the back

Though not street legal, tiny, enclosed four-wheeler is one of the fleet of low-speed electric appearing in China’s traffic-choked Factories are ramping up production of the which can squeeze past as well as bypass government that restrict car use and ownership in

Legally speaking, police are to pull over the unlicensed, and in some cases unsafe used predominantly by the elderly. But the 7-by-3½-foot cars cruise the in open view and are stopped during irregular crackdowns.

Sales are rising each says Tuo Weifan, 23, a salesman at the Electric Bike World, one of largest electric vehicle Legally, it’s a gray But most drivers are old people so the don’t stop them.

economic boom years prompted voracious demand for especially in the country’s major making China the world’s automotive market.

In Beijing, the of vehicles on the road went 2 million in 2008 to 5.18 by mid-2013, according to state-run news agency. The total of cars in China was 240 million at the end of says the Ministry of Public

Road construction has not kept up the pace of car production. Drivers can run hours-long logjams in major and the stalled traffic is blamed for the air pollution problem.

Beijing has mandated better equipment for new automobiles; Shanghai is cities that have the number of new vehicles that can be to 20,000 a month. Still, the of a car is too much for many Chinese.

The known officially as elderly vehicles, can be had for a mere $2,000, them a fast-growing, funny-looking of low-speed vehicles buzzing city streets.

With big like Victory Bull, Pioneer and Constant Wealth, the vehicles satisfy a growing in China for cheap transportation.

100 different makers of the vehicles emerged in recent years in China’s Shandong province, state-run Beijing Daily Manufacturers sold more 20,000 vehicles last far outpacing China’s paltry of full-speed electric cars. In sales are expected to hit 300,000, and to 1 million by 2020.

Among the top for the cars are college campuses, salesman Tuo, as he talked up the Handsome Horse, a Shandong-made The car can travel 30 miles on an 8-hour Max speed: 25 mph.

In China, however, anything has yet to be officially approved by the government is prohibited. Yet Liu Wenhe is undaunted by the of fines, vehicle confiscation or 15 days’ detention for driving his on city thoroughfares.

Liu, who a lifetime at the Beijing Motor says he drives his wife town three times a for dialysis.

People often me to ask where I bought it, and neighbors to buy one, too, he says of his car.

Prized in poorer for their price tag, are a hit in megacities like Beijing they don’t come the limits imposed on drivers of gas vehicles to cut down on traffic and

Minicar drivers don’t to wait years to win a license in a lottery, and they don’t to keep their vehicles off the one day each working week as drivers do.

Wang Yufeng owns and out two Buick minivans, made by Motors in Shanghai, but prefers his Road minicar, a 4-door 3-wheeler.

No other car is as convenient as I can drive and park anywhere, I have heating and a radio, Wang, 49. I wish the government issue licenses and make vehicles legal.

China to be going the other way, citizens not to buy the vehicles, especially for the

Have ‘elderly walk-substituting become new killers on the road? the Beijing Daily report, the China Consumer Association’s not to buy what it labels as dangerous for ageing parents.

On a rain-swept street, Han Xue, 37, got off her electric-powered to get a closer look at some and Field Pigeon brands of She said she was considering buying one for her in-laws, who need something to her 7-year old-son from bite when they him to school.

A saleswoman earning more $1,000 a month, Han owns a VW but complains you can’t go against traffic. A minicar will be and more environmentally friendly, Han, although more means more demand for from coal-burning power blamed for much of Beijing’s air pollution.

And the minicars may begin to a traffic problem too.

of the cars, especially gas-run designed for disabled drivers, subway exits where drivers offer short for $1.50. Cui Baotai says he was for five days in September for public order, by using his as a taxi service.

Cui, 48, inside his box-like vehicle, the car provides an income much than farming in his home in central China.

Waiting for his outside a store, Wang says the minicars offer too advantages over conventional for people to ignore.

Some people buy expensive just for ‘face,’ but it’s so to repay the loan, Wang

His Rich Road minicar is for his own Wang says, and For own use signs are on many of the vehicles to deter and potential cab fares. With a and a wave, he leaves — with a passenger on board.

Contributing: Yang



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