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E-scooters Get Boost From Taiwan Subsidy

Published March 16, 2009

TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN)—The Taiwanese government wants 160,000 new electric scooters on the road over the next four years. The sheer size of this initiative may speed development of better batteries, standardization of connectors, and lift the level of testing to new levels, according to Bing Ming Lin of Industrial Technology Research Institute.

Ming Lin was the lead speaker at the LEV Conference on Monday, before the start of the Taipei Cycle Show. The conference was organized by Hannes Neupert, president of ExtraEnergy.

The impact of this decision on the light electric vehicle (LEV) market means that e-scooters will be the LEV darling, benefiting from rapid developments in technology and displacing e-bikes as the most popular LEV category. Vespa-like e-scooters can easily carry groceries, additional passengers or even the entire family. This increased utility is a big step up from e-bikes and according to Ed Benjamin, another speaker at the conference, one of the major reasons e-scooters will grow in popularity with consumers at a faster rate than e-bikes.

Manufacturers and consumers of e-scooters over the next four years will receive subsidies from the Taiwanese government, provided the e-scooters meet the government's performance and safety standards. Given this design freedom, other speakers at the conference suggested the time is right to standardize battery shape to free manufacturers from having to develop unique batteries for their designs. Speakers called for the industry to develop connector standards, unique to different standard voltages, to provide easier plug and play capabilities and less chance to harm batteries. And a host of battery manufacturers were in attendance presenting their battery designs.

—Matt Wiebe

Topics associated with this article: Tradeshows and conferences

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