With the popularity of electric vehicles, many Hong Kong people have begun to choose electric bicycles as a means of daily travel, but the risks that come with them have also begun to attract attention. Therefore, the Hong Kong government is conducting research on the public use of electric removable tools. According to a report by Hong Kong Commercial Daily on the 10th, electric scooters and electric bicycles will be legalized at the end of the year at the earliest.
Compared with electric vehicles, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars after tax, small and convenient armrested electric scooters and electric bicycles are more popular with ordinary Hong Kong citizens in terms of price. However, many Hong Kong media have discussed the safety risks caused by electric vehicles without legislation. At the end of last year, the Hong Kong TV program "Looking East" received news from residents of Tin Shui Wai that electric bicycles, electric balance bikes and other rampages often occur in the area, posing a danger to pedestrians. Many residents said that some electric bicycles even ride on the sidewalk, driving at a fairly fast speed, and pedestrians should pay special attention to dodging when going out.
Li Yiu-pei, a member of the Transport Department's research group and president of the Automobile Association, revealed on the 10th that handrail electric scooters and electric bicycles will be legalized by the end of this year at the earliest, and relevant vehicles need to have safety verification and speed limit requirements. Li Yaopei said in an interview with the radio program "Departure on a Clear Day" that the Hong Kong government has always had regulatory requirements for electric vehicles, and vehicles with a speed limit of 25 kilometers or less can be sold and used in Hong Kong. Electric balance bikes, commonly known as "Hot Wheels", will continue to be banned from use in Hong Kong because they do not meet the SAR government's requirements for lighting, braking systems and other aspects. He believes that electric bicycles or scooters can facilitate the passage of people in remote areas, such as those who live far from bus stations or subway stations. He believes that after popularization, Hong Kong will slowly become a smart city.
Li Yaopei said that the speed limit below 25 kilometers refers to the examples of other countries and regions, "In the past, Singapore did not have a speed limit, there were many accidents, until the limit was below 25 kilometers, the accident rate was much lower." He said that considering that e-bikes or scooters need to share non-motorized lanes with ordinary bicycles, it is also necessary to take into account the speed of ordinary bicycles.
The Hong Kong Transport Department (TD) announced earlier that from 3 March this year to 31 March next year, it will collaborate with Hong Kong bike-sharing brand Lok Choo to launch a "Shared Electric Movable Tool Test" on a 3-kilometre section of the cycle lane from MTR University Station to Yat Long Bay in Pak Shek Kok to investigate the experience of citizens using shared electric bicycles for short distances on the cycle lane, between work or living areas and major transport hubs.
However, these electric vehicles are legally used in Hong Kong and still face a series of infrastructure problems. The Global Times reporter observed that there are no public facilities for charging electric bicycles or walking scooters in Hong Kong, and for users, vehicle charging needs to be carried out at home or in the office. However, there have been many fires caused by electric vehicles charging at home around the world, causing tragedies, and mainland cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have strictly prohibited electric vehicles from charging in rooms and even banning them from getting on elevators. The living environment of Hong Kong citizens is difficult, and if similar emergencies occur, the consequences will be more serious. Therefore, while legalizing electric vehicles, the SAR government also needs to consider charging-related issues.