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Pollution from automobiles is a rampant problem in developed societies around the world, and as emerging economies such as China and India become more prosperous, a larger percentage of the population is able to afford personal transportation. This might lead the environmentally conscious to worry about an immense explosion in the number of cars on the road –and indeed, the number is rising.

But unlike many western societies where the standard of personal transportation rests firmly in cars, trucks, and other gas or diesel-based automobiles, not every nation is closed off to greener ideas. China, in particular, has been experiencing a widespread increase in per capita income, but rather than focusing on a nationwide boom in car sales, recent news in transportation from China has centered around the spectacular rise in the use of electric bikes.

These “e-bikes” aren’t simply a trend; considering that twenty one million of the devices were purchased in China last year alone, compared with just under ten million cars, it’s clear that e-bikes have become a staple of metropolitan and urban life in China. There are a number of reasons for the incredible success of these machines. Primarily, e-bikes offer commuters an affordable way to get to work or buzz around the city. Models are typically around $300 US and while occasional battery purchases are necessary, the price comparison with fuel needed for traditional automobiles is decidedly in favor of the electric bicycles. What’s more, the machines are whisper-quiet and don’t release any smelly or noxious fumes that many riders praise, noting that the alternatives of motor scooters and motorcycles can make for unpleasant breathing on the road.

Though motorcycles and other variants on small personal transportation units are still fairly popular in China and allow riders to enjoy a higher speed limit, recent taxes and fees placed on such methods by the government has resulted in a significant cost difference, sealing the deal for many of China’s people on the move. The industry as a whole is expected to expand into new countries, primarily in Southeast Asia and surrounding areas, and exciting technological improvements will likely be in the works for quite a while.

Recently, battery giant Advanced Battery Tech (OTCPK:ABAT) partnered with and subsequently acquired e-bike superstar Wuxi Angell in a move that has been the cause for Wall Street rallies even in the face of a less-than-perfect quarterly report from the company.

Representing an immense potential for the future of transportation in emerging economies and around the world, ABAT is set to increase production capacity and tighten cost controls to take full advantage of China’s e-bike boom, which is a promising candidate for a bloom in production and sales despite the global economic downturn. As talk of expanding electric cars and other related technologies based on developments in research and design of e-bikes abounds, many investors are gearing up for an exciting period in green transportation.