Shanghai phasing out old mopeds from streets
SHANGHAI: The city will rid itself of all gasoline-fuelled mopeds by the end of next year in favour of liquefied petroleum gas engines.
Xu Zuxin, director of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, said "some 190,000 gasoline mopeds have already been eliminated from the city since the campaign started three years ago, and all the 160,000 left will disappear next year."
There are currently about 140,000 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) mopeds in the city. The figure will most likely grow to 300,000 by the end of next year.
"There are a little more than 100 LPG facilities in the city, built within the existing 800 gasoline stations," said Cai Zhigang, an official from the bureau.
"They are capable of fuelling more than 30,000 LPG cabs and new mopeds, which make up only a small part of the total LPG consumption."
In addition, to guarantee the quality, only two manufacturers in the city are designated to produce LPG mopeds, compared with various petrol moped factories in the early 1990s.
An LPG moped costs about 5,000 yuan (US$600).
"People will be given a 300 yuan (US$36) discount for the new moped," said Wang Deyou, an official from the Non-motor Vehicle Administration Office of Changning District.
Mopeds first surfaced in the city in the early 1990s.
In 1997, Shanghai stopped issuing new licence plates after the 500,000 mopeds in the city's streets were found to be one of the main reasons behind street pollution.
"Gasoline mopeds burn a mixture of fuel and lubricant incompletely, which produces fumes containing many substances that cause cancer," said Cai .
The mopeds usually emit five times the pollution a car does; and when it is running at high speed, the emission multiplies to 14 times of a normal car.
"In 1996, gasoline mopeds contributed one-fifth of the city's total vehicle emission," said Cai.
In 2000, non-motor vehicle administration offices in the city stopped renewing plates for gasoline-powered mopeds, after their eight-year term expired.
"Mopeds more than eight years old produce even more pollution and cause more accidents," said Cai.
"By the end of next year, all the petrol mopeds in the city will exceed their safe period."
Gasoline moped drivers now can purchase the more environmentally friendly LPG mopeds in exchange for the old ones, according to Wang.
"And to ensure all the old mopeds are turned in, the municipal government has stipulated that LPG mopeds can be purchased only after people turn in their old ones," said Wang.
It is also a measure to control the total amount of the vehicles running in the street to alleviate the city's traffic load, said Wang.