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Taipei Times, Sun, Dec 17, 2000

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"Taiwan could easily become the world leader in this industry," said Kung Tse-chi ( 龔子琪 ), CEO of Shang Wei ( 上暐 ), one of Taiwan's leading producers, ...
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Taipei Times, Sun, Dec 17, 2000

Charged up, but going nowhere...fast

Taiwan's roads are flooded with gas-guzzling scooters but--don't despair--there is a green alternative. The only problem is hardly anyone is buying it.

By David Frazier
STAFF REPORTER
Sunday, Dec 17, 2000, Page 17

A visitor to a car show at the Exhibition Hall of the Taipei World Trade Center checks out a new electrical motorcycle.
TAIPEI TIMES PHOTO FILE
Noble motives and the hope that they are riding the wave of the future has led a number of companies in Taiwan to develop and manufacture electrical motorcycles.

These vehicles, despite the endorsement of Taiwan's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), still face an uphill battle for acceptance. Considerable outlay for small returns has seen the EPA backpedal on its original commitment to the electric motorcycle through a reduction in subsidies, but improvements in technology and reductions in production costs may still enable this "green" motorbike to establish itself on Taiwan.

Over the last few months, the Taiwan government's four-year-old electric motorcycles program seemed to be facing the chop. In the first weeks of December, however, the companies involved in this new industry got a reprieve. The industry had provided some nominal gains -- over 8,000 vehicles sold so far in 2000 -- so the government promised to continue the per vehicle subsidy program for another year, at the same time backpedaling slightly on more wide-ranging forms of assistance, like the structural necessity of charging stations.



Clean technology

Moving into 2001, Taiwan's budding electric motorcycle industry can do nothing but hope for a good year.

"Taiwan could easily become the world leader in this industry," said Kung Tse-chi (龔子琪), CEO of Shang Wei (上暐), one of Taiwan's leading producers, "but the market for electric motorcycles is like the market for cellular phones, it needs a certain amount of time to develop."

Many charging stations for electrical motorcycles have been closed over the past few years.
TAIPEI TIMES PHOTO FILE
At a glance, Shang Wei's e-cycle, which goes by the name SWAP, looks very like one of the 50cc motor scooters that already flood Taiwan's roads. Instead of an exhaust pipe, however, it has a shiny and somewhat rectangular aluminum box, which is part of its power supply and control system. Power is supplied by four 12-volt batteries housed under the floorboard. When power starts to run low, the rider can simply pop up the license plate, roll out a power cord and plug into a wall socket.

The electrical motorcycle manufactured by Shang Wei comes without a gas pipe and therefore does not cause air pollution.
TAIPEI TIMES PHOTO FILE
Recharging takes between three and five hours, which is fairly typical for all of Taiwan's seven electric motorcycle makers. In other areas of performance, however, Shang Wei claims to rank at the top of the pack. Backing its assertion are its leading position in domestic sales for this year (1,971 through September) and its curious collection of patrons, including the President of Costa Rica and the chairman of the state congress of West Virginia.

Students zip around the National Taiwan University campus on their electric scooters.
TAIPEI TIMES FILE PHOTO
Still, the key performance factor for any electric motorcycle is range, and the ever optimistic Kung claims the SWAP can now run for up to 92km without a recharge.

"For range, the magic number is one hundred, because that approaches the range of a gas-powered 50cc motorcycle, which is the electric motorcycle's natural competitor," said Lin Fu-ming (林福明), vice president at Sam Ever Industry Co (策盟), another of Taiwan's top producers.

"We'll go into your basement and attach an extension chord to your power box. That way if you live on an upper floor you can still recharge at home.."

Kung Tse-chi, CEO of Shang Wei, one of Taiwan's leading producers of electric scooters

Lin, however, takes more of a pragmatic view when it comes to performance, saying that if such long ranges are possible, they can only be achieved under "some sort of ideal conditions."

"We're all using the same kind of batteries," he said, "so the difference isn't going to be that great. In stop-and-go traffic, our electric motorcycle will only go a little over 30km. I think that's a more realistic number."

This realism is in marked contrast to the wild optimism that has continued to plague the electrical vehicle industry all over the world -- Taiwan and the EPA have been no exception.

Counting the cost

According to the EPA's original plan, Taiwan's manufacturers were to sell 40,000 e-cycles domestically this year, and the agency was to provide 20,000 recharging stations. The program was set out in 1997 when then Premier Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) pledged full support, and NT$6.3 billion in government funds. The plan also called for e-cycles to account for 2 percent of all motorcycle sales this year.

The 8,000 or so e-cycles sold this year will fall far short of this goal, accounting for only half the 16,000 cycles necessary to meet the 2 percent requirement (total motorcycle sales in Taiwan should reach around 800,000 this year). As for charging stations, the EPA established only three as an experiment, and then closed them all last month.

Complicating the matter, when the new EPA administration came in with the Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) government earlier this year, it took one look and quickly came to regard the electric motorcycle program as a failure.

"They didn't know what was going on," said Hsu Chih-hsi (許志西), R&D manager at EVT (科藝), another producer of the e-cycles. "They were just looking at the expense and the proportion of sales."

The EPA's initial actions were drastic. In August, it announced it would cut next year's per-cycle subsidy to NT$6,000, down from last year's NT$22,000 to NT$31,000. It further stated that it would do away with all support by 2002. As per vehicle production costs range from NT$40,000 to NT$70,000, the move would effectively crippled the industry, not allowing the new e-cycles to compete with 50cc motorcycles, which generally fall in the NT$30,000 to NT$40,000 price range.

"If the subsidy went that low, we couldn't cover our costs," said Hsu, adding "We've [Taiwan] invested several hundred million so far. To pull out now would be a complete waste."

Batteries not included

Yet the poor performance, poor sales and an unacceptably sluggish rate of development cited by the EPA are all realities. Still, there was one even bigger problem at the root of all of them -- batteries. "Right now, almost everyone in the world is still using the same batteries," said Hsu, referring to the lead-acid batteries that are similar to those used to start automobiles since the 1930s. "There are other more efficient batteries out there right now, but they can't go on the market because the cost is too high. Hopefully, we'll have something new by the end of next year."

"Hope" is the word most e-motorcycle makers use when it comes to batteries. Their hopes are placed in a variety of products. EVT is looking at Ni-Zn (nickel-zinc) batteries, which Hsu says will offer twice the range, last twice as long, and weigh half as much as the lead-acid batteries EVT currently uses.

Lin, meanwhile, says that Sam Ever is looking at Lithium-ion batteries. One of the highest energy density batteries around, lithium ion batteries are widely used in cell phones and laptops. They will leave the planet next year on NASA's Mars 2001 lander. Fitted for motorcycles, they will offer similar performance improvements as Ni-Zn, but the problem remains of making the necessary adjustments so they can power something as large as a motorcycle. "It may be two or three years away," he said.

Ready for anything, Kung Zi-chi of Shang Wei's marketing department says simply, "Whatever battery works, we'll take it, whether it's nickel-metal-hydride, Ni-Zn, lithium, or zinc-air fuel cells," adding that an upgrade is "extremely possible" sometime next year.

Aside from improvements in performance standards, which are roughly similar for most batteries of the next generation, e-cycle makers cite the potential of cutting battery weight. "Lead acid batteries are very heavy," said Hsu, naming them as the reason electric motorcycles all weigh in between 100kg and 130kg, or 50 percent more than a typical 90cc scooter.

According to Hsu, Evercel, a US company, is looking to establish a factory producing Ni-Zn batteries in Xiamen, China, to supply electrical motorcycle manufacturers in Taiwan. "So something may not be too far off," Hsu said.

Three months ago, however, slow development with overseas battery development aggravated fears of an EPA pullout. When the EPA threatened to cut subsidies by three-quarters in August, the industry became seriously agitated and it was only after complaints from the industry that the agency reconsidered. A series of meetings was called, bringing together EPA officials, industry reps and a group of 15 scholars.

"We will not deviate from the original plan, which called for an NT$8,000 reduction in the subsidy for 2001," Chuang Shun-cheng (莊順城), a section head at the EPA, told the Taipei Times earlier this month. "But we will be giving more responsibility to the manufacturers." As it is, the EPA has agreed to reduce subsidies by an average of only NT$4000 per vehicle, citing the lower cost of technology and greater domestic content as it reasons.

The responsibilities turned over to the manufacturers will primarily include the creation of charging stations, a responsibility tentatively reserved for the EPA up until now.

POWERING UP

EVT's Hsu said that charging stations are necessary because: "The number one complaint of electric motorcycle riders is that the bikes are difficult to recharge. Sure you can plug them into your wall socket, but what if you live on the third or fourth floor?"

At present, EVT is taking the lead in charging services, constructing 20 charging stations in Kaohsiung where most of its sales have taken place. Hsu said the stations should be completed by the end of this month. "We're putting them at gas stations, and since the equipment uses a very high current, it will only take 15 minutes to recharge a motorcycle," he said.

Shang Wei, meanwhile, is taking a more rag-tag approach to the problem. Instead of shelling out NT$200,000 to NT$300,000 per charging station, it is offering individual service to each and every person that buys one of its motorcycles.

"We'll go into your basement and attach an extension chord to your power box," said Shang Wei's Kung. "That way if you live on an upper floor you can still recharge at home."

Though Shang Wei can't offer such personalized service internationally, Kung echoes the sentiments of most in the industry, expressing optimism about the market beyond Taiwan. This feeling is echoed by Evercel officials, who have called Taiwan's motorcycles "some of the best scooters in the world." Early last year, another US leader in electric vehicles, Zapworld.com, gave a further vote of confidence, agreeing to source all of its e-motorcycles from Taiwan producer Kang Yang.

Yet fundamentally, the issue for Kung still comes down to environmental protection. "Everyone wants to breathe fresh air," he said. "We love this planet. We love Taiwan."

Fortunately, the EPA agrees with him for the moment. "In a non-industrial urban center like Taipei, about 90 percent of the air pollution comes from vehicle exhaust," said Chuang. Yet he tempers any desire for easy solutions, adding, "environmental protection is no free lunch."
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http://www.google.com.tw/translate_t?hl=zh-TW

落案起訴,但毫無...快速

台灣的道路充斥著耗油量大的滑板車,但-日程絕望-有一個綠色的選擇。唯一的問題是幾乎沒有人購買它。
由David弗雷澤
本報記者
週日, 2000年12月17日,第17頁

 
遊客到一個車展在展覽大廳的台北世界貿易中心檢查出一個新的電動摩托車。
英文台北時報的照片檔案
 
高尚的動機,並希望他們是騎未來的潮流,導致一些公司在台灣的開發和生產電動摩托車。

這些車輛,儘管通過台灣的環境保護署( EPA ) ,仍然面對一場艱苦的戰鬥,為接受。相當多的支出為小回報已經看到了EPA的倒退就其原有的承諾,到電動摩托車,通過減少的補貼,但在技術方面的改進和減少在生產成本仍可能使這個“綠色”摩托車,以確立自己在台灣。

在過去數月,台灣政府的4歲的電動摩托車的計劃似乎是所面臨的印章。在第一週的12月,不過,涉及的公司在這個新產業得到緩刑。業內人士提供了一些象徵性的收益-超過8 000輛,至今在2 000年-因此,政府承諾要繼續每輛車補貼計劃為另一年,在同一時間,對輕微的倒退更廣泛形式的援助,像結構的必要性收費站。

 


 
清潔技術

邁向2001年,台灣的萌芽,電動摩托車業可以什麼也不做,但希望有一個良好的一年。

“台灣很可能成為世界領導人在這個行業,說: ”西貢謝池(龔子琪) ,總裁兼首席執行官尚偉(上暐) ,其中台灣的領導生產者“ ,但市場的電動摩托車是一樣,市場對於移動電話,它需要一定數額的時間來發展” 。

 
很多收費站的電動摩托車已被關閉在過去幾年中。
英文台北時報的照片檔案
 
一看,尚偉的電子商務週期,而推移的名稱互換,看來非常喜歡其中的50cc汽車摩托車已經防洪台灣的道路。而不是一排氣管,不過,它有一個發亮的和有點矩形鋁框,這是其部分電力供應和控制系統。所提供的電源由4 12伏電池安置下地板。當電源開始運行低,騎車人可以簡單地彈出車牌,推出一款電源線,插頭到牆壁插座。

 
電器摩托車製造尚偉來沒有煤氣管道,因此,不會造成空氣污染的問題。
英文台北時報的照片檔案
 
充電需時三至五個小時,這是相當典型的為所有台灣的7電動摩托車製造商。在其他方面的性能,但是,尚偉索賠排名在頂端的包。支持其主張是其領導地位,在國內銷售,為今年( 1971年9月)和其好奇,收集的顧客,包括哥斯達黎加總統和主席國國會的西維吉尼亞州。

 
學生郵編靠近國立台灣大學校園對他們的電動滑板車。
英文台北時報的檔案照片
 
但是,關鍵績效因素,任何電動摩托車是範圍,和以往任何時候都樂觀西貢索賠的調劑現在可以運行長達九二公里沒有一個充電。

“為範圍,幻數是100 ,因為這辦法的範圍氣體動力50cc摩托車,這是電動摩托車的天然競爭對手,說: ”林福明(林福明; ) ,副總裁薩姆以往任何時候都業合作(策盟) ,另一位台灣的生產商。

“我們將進入您的地下室和重視的延伸弦到您的權力方塊。這樣,如果你住在樓上,您仍然可以在家裡充電.. ”
 
西貢謝智,總裁兼首席執行官尚偉,其中台灣的領導生產者的電動滑板車
 
林,不過,需要更多的是務實的看法,當談到表現,說,如果這種長期的範圍是可能的,他們只能下取得的“某種形式的理想條件” 。

“我們都使用相同的種電池, ”他說, “因此,不同的是,不會成為很大的。在停走交通,我們的電動摩托車只會略多於三零公里,我覺得這是一個較為實際的數目“ 。

這是在現實主義的明顯對比,以野生樂觀地認為,繼續困擾著電動汽車產業遍布世界各地-台灣和美國環保局已也不例外。

票的成本

根據環保局的原計劃,台灣的製造商出售40000電子商務週期在國內,這一年,該機構是提供20000充電站。節目內容已載列於1997年時,當時的行政院長蕭萬長(蕭萬長)表示會全力支持,和新台幣六十三億元,在政府基金。該計劃還呼籲電子商務週期,以帳戶為2 % ,所有的電單車,今年的銷量。

8000或使電子商務的週期,今年銷售將遠遠低於這一目標,會計,只有一半16000週期的必要,以滿足2 %的規定(共摩托車銷售量在台灣應達到約80.0萬,今年) 。至於收費站,環保局成立只有3作為一個實驗,然後封閉,他們都在上個月。

複雜的事,當新政府上台環保局在與陳水扁(陳水扁)政府今年早些時候,它採取了一看,並很快把電動摩托車計劃失敗的。

“他們不知道發生什麼事情,說: ”許致恆指(許志西) ,研發經理evt (科藝) ,另一製片人電子商務週期。 “他們只看犧牲和銷售的比例” 。

環保局的初步行動,大刀闊斧。在8月,它宣布將削減下一年度的百分之週期補貼,至新台幣$ 6000 ,低於去年的新台幣二點二〇萬美元至新台幣三萬一美元。它進一步表示,它將取消所有的支持,於2002年。由於每部車的生產成本範圍從新台幣4萬美元至新台幣七〇 〇 〇 〇美元,此舉將有效地削弱業,不容許新的電子週期競爭50cc摩托車,一般在秋季的NT $ 30000至新台幣四點○萬美元價格範圍。

“如果補貼到低,我們不能掩蓋我們的成本,說: ”許,加入“我們已經[台灣]投資若干億,至今。撤出,現在將是一個完整的廢物” 。

電池未列入

但表現欠佳,窮人的銷售和令人無法接受的疲弱的發展速度所列舉的環保局,都是現實。還有,有一個更大的問題的根源,所有這些-電池。 “現在,幾乎每個人都在世界上仍是使用相同的電池,說: ”許,指的是鉛蓄電池是類似的那些用來啟動汽車,自20世紀30年代。 “還有其他更有效的電池有權利,現在,但他們不能對市場,因為成本實在太高。可望,我們將有一些新的,由明年年底” 。

“希望”是Word中最電子商務的摩托車製造商使用,當談到電池。他們的希望是放置在一個多種產品。 evt是從鎳-鋅(鎳鋅)電池,許說,將提供兩倍的範圍內,去年的兩倍長,重量多出一半作為鉛蓄電池evt目前所使用的。

林,同時表示,山姆是以往任何時候都看在鋰離子電池。最高的地區之一,能量密度的電池左右,鋰離子電池被廣泛用於手機和筆記本電腦。他們將離開地球,明年美國宇航局的火星著陸器於2001年。裝上電單車,他們將提供類似的性能方面進行了改進,作為鎳-鋅,但問題仍然作出必要的調整,使他們能夠權力的東西一樣大的電單車。 “這可能是兩年或3年以外, ”他說。

準備就緒的話,西貢自遲尚偉的市場營銷部說,簡單地說, “無論電池工程,我們將採取它,不管它是鎳金屬氫化物,鎳鋅,鋰,或鋅空氣燃料電池, ”加入一個升級是“極可能”在明年的某個時候。

除了在改善性能標準,這是大致相同的大多數電池的下一代,電子商務週期的決策者舉的潛力切割電池的重量。 “鉛酸蓄電池的任務很重,說: ”許,命名為理由,電動摩托車所有的重量在100公斤之間,並一百三公斤,或50 %以上的一個典型的90cc踏板車。

據許, evercel ,一家美國公司,正在尋求建立一個工廠生產鎳鋅電池在廈門,中國,供應電動摩托車製造商在台灣。 “因此,一些可能不是太遙遠, ”許競平說。

三個月前,不過,發展緩慢,與海外電池的發展加劇了恐懼,一環保局撤離。當環保局揚言要削減補貼的四分之三在8月,該行業已成為嚴重的激動,這是投訴後,才由業界,該機構重新考慮。一連串的會議,被稱為,召集環保局官員,業界代表和15國集團的學者。

“我們將不會偏離原來的計劃,其中要求新台幣一八〇 〇 〇美元減少,資助2001年, ”創順成(莊順城) ,一個科長在環保局,告訴台北時報本月初。 “不過,我們會給予更多的責任,向製造商” 。因為它是,環保局已同意減少補貼,由平均只有新台幣$ 4000每部車輛為由,以較低成本的技術和更大的國內含量,因為它的原因。

責任轉交給製造商將主要包括設立收費站,責任暫時保留為環保局截至目前為止。

供電起來

evt的許說,收費站是必要的,因為: “有多少一宗投訴電動摩托車賽車手的是,自行車是很難補給。確保您可以堵塞他們到您的電源插座,但是,如果你生活在第三或第四位發言嗎? “

目前, evt是率先在收費服務,建設20個收費站,在高雄的地方將其大部分銷售都發生了。許說,監測站應完成本月底。 “我們正在將他們的加油站,由於設備採用了非常高的電流,它只會採取15分鐘充電的電單車, ”他說。

尚偉,同時,採取更加RAG的標記的方法來解決問題。而不是炮轟出新台幣二十零點零零萬美元至新台幣三十〇點○○○萬美元每充電站,這是提供個別服務,以每個人購買它的一個電單車。

“我們將進入您的地下室和重視的延伸弦到您的權力方塊中,說: ”尚偉的西貢。 “這樣,如果你住在樓上,您仍然可以在家裡充電” 。

雖然尚偉不能提供這種個性化的服務在國際上,公相呼應的情緒,最有業內人士表示樂觀,市場超越台灣。這種感覺是贊同evercel官員,誰有所謂的台灣的電單車“一些最好的滑板車在世界上” 。去年年初,另一位美國領導人在電動車輛, zapworld.com ,進行了進一步的信任投票,同意來源,其所有的電子,電單車,從台灣的生產者康楊。

然而,從根本上說,這個問題西貢仍然可以歸結為保護環境。 “每個人都想呼吸新鮮空氣, ”他說。 “我們愛這個星球上,我們愛台灣” 。

所幸的是,環保局同意他的當務之急。 “在一個非工業城市中心一樣,台北,大約90 %的空氣污染來自汽車廢氣,說: ”闖。但他脾氣的任何願望,輕而易舉的解決辦法,加入“保護環境是沒有免費的午餐” 。
這個故事已被認為是2359倍。

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