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A few companies interviewed at the EV Taiwan trade show in Taipei describe the local economy as bad, which means affordable transportation becomes paramount, giving both electric and gasoline-powered scooters a big advantage over cars.
Having seen a few riders running gasoline scooters much faster at wide-open throttle in Taipei late at night, I understand how a battery-driven bike might not appeal to certain customers.
It’s interesting to see how scooters share the busy surface streets here with passenger cars, many of them taxi cabs.
There’s a great deal of order among scooter riders. They obey traffic signals and rarely weave dangerously between cars in traffic – at least not that I could see. And they often move in neat packs at the same speed, like buffalo across the prairie. Riders seem to take the responsibility seriously.
At busy intersections, Taipei has devised a clever box allowing riders to make left turns in heavy traffic.
When approaching an intersection, the rider stays in the right lane, veers out of traffic and turns into a clearly marked box ahead of vehicles waiting to cross the intersection.
When the light changes, the riders in the box are at the head of the line to cross, completing their left turn. It’s a simple, brilliant way to alleviate congestion.
My apologies if this left-turn box was invented by another metropolis, but Taipei has the concept nailed.
When – perhaps if – the time comes for electric scooters in the domestic market, hopefully Taiwanese companies gearing up today still will have an appetite for the sector.