In China, it seems that the most popular and most practical way of getting around the city is by motorbike. Most of these bikes are electric, and while they are not as powerful as a conventional motorcycle, these electric motorbikes (more commonly referred to as electric scooters), they are relatively affordable for the masses. Let’s face it - a car is still a luxury item in China, something only the professional person or the upper classes can afford.
When I was in Guilin, a medium size city in Guangxi province, I stopped at major intersection where I witnessed at least 50 people on motorscooters – both men and women - waiting for the traffic light to change to green. All around the city, there seemed to be more of these motorscooters than cars.
The electric scooters are silent - which is a both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that these scooters are environmentally friendly. The bad thing – because these scooters are allowed free access to the sidewalk, they can be a real hazard for the pedestrian especially when the bikes are approaching from the rear.
To give you some idea, I was walking on the sidewalk on a major thoroughfare in Guilin, and then without a warning, two electric motorscooters passed me by. Because they were completely silent, I had no idea they were coming. Thank G_D that there was sufficient room on both my sides for the scooters to pass. To pedestrians, these electric scooters can be very dangerous and I can only imagine how many accidents they have caused – they are the silent killers of China.