Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mini Cars and Ebikes of Beijing

This is a pretty typical tuk-tuk most likely used to
taxi people from a bus stop to their
home much more cheaply than a real taxi.
One of the cutest things driving around Beijing (believe me with traffic you need to find something cute) is all the little mini-cars and modified eBikes.  I'm sure they have a real name, but I'm not sure what to call them.  I love to take pictures of them, and I tried to talk hubby into buying me one, but I'm mini-car-less.

Some of the expats that live here and don't have a car or license drive a tuk-tuk for things close by, which is a motorized three wheeled vehicle.  Lots of tuk-tuks are used as cheap taxis, but lots are privately owned and used. I've noticed the expat tuk-tuks are a bit nicer than some of the locals.  I often see used tuk-tuks for sale by other expats for anywhere from 3,000RMB-6,000RMB depending on the type and condition which is US$500-$1,000.

Other locals have ebikes to get around which are electric run bikes, for going long distances and not having to pedal.  You have to plug the battery into the electric to charge it and then it can go for say 30 minutes without being charged again. I'm sure it varies based on how much you pay for the bike.

They also seem to park where ever they want.
This car is often sitting at Yosemite, a neighborhood
in the area we live. I can't figure out if they are trying to sell it?
As you can see, none of them have license plates.
One thing about all these various modes of transportation is that they rarely follow the rules of the road.  They drive on the side berm, don't follow traffic lights, traffic rules, or even the direction of the road so you have to be careful and always look both ways before turning right. It is downright dangerous, especially late at night because a lot of the ebikes don't have proper lighting so you can't see them on the roads.

There are plenty of ways for people to get around in Beijing, car, taxi, bike, ebike, Subway, public buses and good old walking.

They drive on the side of the roads with the ebikes and bicycles.
This one was going SO slow the other day, no way more than 10MPH.

This is kinda like a pimped out tuk-tuk.

This "car" only has 3 wheels, so technically it doesn't
have to follow any traffic rules (well they don't).


  1. Any ideas where to buy a second-hand Tuk-Tuk in Beijing?

    1. Where are you living? Beijing is a big place!