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Aug 29, 2017,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

China turning to anti-pollution bikes to clean up its air

What if part of the solution to the awful pollution in Chinese cities was the use of a revolutionary bike? An eco-bicycle that is the brainchild of a Dutch designer is equipped with a system that collects the ambient air, filters it then releases it. And it should soon be available for hire thanks to a Chinese start-up company.


One day soon, China could at last be able to limit the intense pollution that is clogging up many of its cities thanks to a new generation of bike that should be ready by the end of the year.

Like any means of transport without an engine, this ecologically-friendly bicycle enables people to get from A to B without generating pollution. What is more innovative, however, is that the bike is also designed to collect and filter air, purifying it then letting it back out as the rider goes about their journey, enabling cyclists to take an active role in the fight against smog.

Partnership between a Dutch designer and a Chinese start-up

According to Mashable, it is a Dutch company called Studio Roosegaarde that is behind this revolutionary bicycle, but a promising invention of this kind would be of little use if it never went beyond the project stage.

An anti-pollution bike of this kind obviously needs to be made available to the Chinese people in as many of the environmental problem areas as possible, which is why the Dutch company, which specialises in high-tech products for the urban environment, has teamed up with Ofo, a Chinese start-up that is behind a vast network of bikes for hire across the country.

Potential fleet of 6.5 million bikes in 150 cities

Ofo currently has around 6.5 million bicycles in use across 150 cities in the country. Every day, nearly 3 million Chinese people hire a bike from the company. The effect on pollution levels of the Studio Roosegaarde innovation will be all the greater therefore if it can be incorporated into the Ofo two-wheeler fleet. "We think that with these millions of bikes, we can have a genuine impact on air quality," declared Daan Roosegaarde, founder of the eponymously named studio, to Quartz

The first bikes aimed at removing the pollution from Chinese cities should be out and about on the streets in the next few months, and their creator sees them as far from just another gadget with a limited shelf-life. "We’re ambitious. This isn’t a short-term project or one that is merely there to look good," said Roosegaarde, who was also behind the "Smog Free Tower" set up in Beijing in 2016.

As effective as the "Smog Free Tower"?

With any luck, Roosegaarde will enjoy the same levels of success and effectiveness with the new bikes as he had with the Beijing tower. In a press release published last May, Studio Roosegaarde revealed that a study carried out by researchers at the University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands had demonstrated that the levels of pollution measured within a radius of 20 metres around the Smog Free Tower had gone down by 45%.


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