BEIJING -- China plans to enhance safety standards for the production and use of electric bikes to make them safer on the road.
A number of features, including fire-proofing and flame retardants, are required for producing safe electric bikes, according to the draft safety standards plan for e-bikes released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The plan, which will be open for public opinion for 30 days, also lifts the speed limit of e-bikes from 20 km per hour to 25 km per hour as well as raises their weight and motor power limits.
All e-bikes should be equipped with pedals to ensure they can still function in the event of motor breakdown.
China is the world"s largest e-bike producer and seller and home to about 200 million e-bikes with an annual production of over 30 million.
However, unregulated mass production by some unscrupulous e-bike makers has turned the vehicles into a risky transportation method, with more than 56,200 accidents involving e-bikes and 8,431 deaths reported in the past five years, an increase of 8.6 percent and 13.5 percent annually.
E-bike producers will have six months or one year to sell old versions and prepare for new ones while riders can trade old vehicles for new ones or enjoy subsidies, according to the plan.