Taipei Cycle recently invited industry leaders and professionals to a webinar, presenting an opportunity for the experts to share their views and insights on the topics of e-mobility, sustainability and cycling culture.
Discussing a shared vision for e-mobility, James Huang, chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), emphasised how the pandemic has led to changes in almost every area of life.
One of the most important lessons learned from the past year is how to live more sustainably and Huang stated that cycling is key to this, due to its eco-friendliness and ease of maintaining social distancing.
Between January and August 2021, Taiwan’s exports for e-bikes were in the region of 670,000 units with a total export value of $888 million. This represented a year-on-year increase of 40%, both in volume and value.
Huang went on to emphasise that Taiwan has highly developed industries in both cycling and IOT (Internet of Things). As such, it is possible for the nation to combine the strengths of these two sectors in order to structure a green mobility roadmap for the cycling industry.
Gina Chang, secretary general of the Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA), discussed several trends that will affect the industry over the next ten years.
To begin with, Chang described that the cycling industry will experience a shift towards more green manufacturing, stating that “over the next five years, particularly [with regards to] carbon footprint verification and general environmental awareness, the Taiwanese bicycle industry will adapt very quickly”.
Furthermore, the personalisation of products for a buyer’s individual needs will become increasingly popular. However, Chang stated that “customisation may indicate a trend of low-volume manufacturing”.
Finally, Chang described that e-bikes will integrate the Internet of Things into their software and applications, stating that development in this area “will go beyond our expectations within five years”.
Adding to this, Michael Tseng, president of Merida and chairman of the TBA, stated that “during this pandemic, we have continued production to provide great cycling products that meet global market needs”. Tseng concluded with a call to action: “Let’s cycle for a safer, healthier and successful future!”
On the topic of sustainability, Filip Grzegorzewski, head of the European Economic and Trade Office, discussed the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy which was launched by the EU in December 2020. Under this new strategy, the EU aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 90% in the transport sector by 2050.
The EU recognises cycling as a key aspect of a multimodal and integrated transport system and aims to advocate cycling in order to meet its environmental goal. This will include continuing to finance and improve cycling infrastructure, as well as promoting and supporting cycling projects in its member states.
Taiwan is the third-largest exporter to the EU’s bicycle industry, and imports of specifically electric bicycles to the EU came primarily from Taiwan (53% of total extra-EU electric bicycle imports). This also means more business for Taiwan’s bicycle industry.
Taiwan’s bicycle manufacturers value the importance of sustainability and shared their experiences on the topic of ESG (environmental, social, and governance).
On this topic, Michael Lin, CEO of Pacific Cycles, described the company’s push for more sustainable power sources. He highlighted that “when our second plant was under construction about ten years ago… a comprehensive water recycling system was adopted”. This is alongside the solar-powered systems already in place at all of its plants.
Furthermore, Pacific Cycles promised to reduce packaging by 2025, based on a convention signed with its European partners.
Carol Chen, owner of Austrian brand KTM Bike Industries, affirmed that KTM made use of both solar and hydropower during its production process.
Chen also highlighted the importance which KTM places on a working environment that values freedom and human rights, describing that they encourage all suppliers and partners to follow these practices through ‘ESG management’.
Check out the webinar below:
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Visitor registration is now open for next year’s Taipei Cycle. The 2022 event will be a hybrid show, both physical (running from 9th-12th March) and online (9th March to 8th April).