Barriers to entry into the market are objective and subjective factors that can complicate the process of introducing solar-powered electric bicycles. When it comes to bicycles as an alternative to road transport, people tend to note the environmental dimension of this choice. Of course, cycling, especially solar-powered electric bike, eliminates any harmful emissions to the environment. However, few people think about how dangerous regular cycling can be in a polluted environment.
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The main problem of cycling with air pollution is that people breathe in several times more air under high loads. During this time, the body processes large amounts of air to provide muscles with oxygen. Accordingly, the intake of harmful substances in the air increases. They cause coughing, sore throat, headache, and chest pain. Long-term exposure can lead to irreversible consequences and cause various diseases. Air pollution in Chinese cities is not slowing down (Wu & Xue, 2017). Of course, the country’s authorities are trying to take some measures, but if we look at the picture as a whole, the forecasts do not leave much room for optimism. The main components of polluted air
are carbon monoxide, PM-particles from fuel combustion, sulfur, and nitrogen oxides that are harmful to health (Wu & Xue, 2017. As a result, the use of bicycles, albeit the most environmentally friendly, is unjustified and is detrimental to human health. However, polluted air does not veto bicycle use. In China, where almost 20 percent of the world’s population lives, it is impossible to travel around the city using a car alone.
The solar-powered electric bike is an alternative in case you use a safe face filter mask. The second significant constraint on a solar-powered bike, caused by air pollution, is the deterioration of photovoltaic capacity. According to research, because of polluted air, the power of solar panels is reduced by 35 percent (Li, Wagner, Peng, Yang, & Mauzerall, 2017). Due to the denser atmospheric air, solar energy does not reach the solar panels.
Moreover, another barrier to solar-powered electric bike entering the international market is cloudy weather, rainfall, and floods. In many coastal cities around the world, where flooding is not uncommon, the use of an electric bike is inefficient. The same can be said of areas far from the sea line, but close to mountainous terrain, where there is a high probability of landslides and mudflows. After all, the climate in most developed countries, such as China, is rich in rainy summer seasons, limiting the work of solar-powered electric bike for two reasons. The first reason is the deterioration of solar activity.
In cloudy weather, the sun is covered by clouds, and solar panels on bicycles do not consume the power they need (Li et al., 2017). The second reason is the wet surface of the ground, which negatively affects the safe operation of the bike’s electrical circuitry.
Densely populated cities also have a significant impact on the availability of bicycles. Large cities are full of people, and all of them are in a hurry and consider the surrounding area to be a nuisance. Depending on the laws of different countries, cyclists may or may not be able to ride on the road. In the case of large cities, where traffic jams are often a significant problem, bicycle use is not convenient (Wu & Xue, 2017). However, most developed countries are actively developing specialized cycle lanes that are isolated from both cars and pedestrians. Studies show that cyclists prefer to use special safety zones rather than roadway (Zhang, Thomas, Brussel, & Van Maarseveen, 2017).
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The width of the roadway determines the length of the walkway and the width of the roadway available to other road users, including cycle lanes, parking spaces, or green spaces. These areas have a positive impact on the number of people who prefer bicycles (Zhang et al., 2017). Furthermore, the solar-powered electric bike can be sold as a rental product and issued at special exchange stations. This, in turn, will lead to the unloading of parking lots and bicycle storage areas.
The solar-powered electric bike is an excellent alternative for road transport. In the rapidly developing China, there has been a sharp increase in annual sales of electric bikes for seven years between 1998 and 2005. Most people in today’s world are thinking about sustainability, and Solar powered electric bike in this sense is the ideal option. It does not leave any waste and does not emit any emissions into the atmosphere.
The introduction of solar energy storage technology makes it possible to make such transport autonomous and entirely environmentally friendly. However, the solar-powered electric bike also has a negative side that prevents it from entering an international bank. As with any bike, the electric variant does not prevent the active inhalation of contaminated air during physical activity. Chinese air contains chemicals that have a negative impact on human health.
Moreover, rainy summer seasons and floods due to landslides and waves stop the bike from operating. Finally, underdeveloped infrastructure leads to the lack of special bicycle zones, and cyclists are uncomfortable riding in traffic jams and pedestrian queues, which is especially noticeable in Chinese densely populated cities. Marketing managers will have to deal with these market barriers to make the product as competitive as possible.
Li, X., Wagner, F., Peng, W., Yang, J., & Mauzerall, D. L. (2017). Reduction of solar photovoltaic resources due to air pollution in China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(45), 11867-11872.
Wu, F., & Xue, Y. (2017). Innovations of bike sharing industry in China: A case study of Mobike’s station-less bike sharing system. Web.
Zhang, Y., Thomas, T., Brussel, M., & Van Maarseveen, M. (2017). Exploring the impact of built environment factors on the use of public bikes at bike stations: case study in Zhongshan, China. Journal of Transport Geography, 58(1), 59-70.