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Air pollution alarming, electric motorbike market heats up

People have been advised to restrict outdoors exercise, close windows and doors, and wear protective masks to protect themselves from PM2.5 fine dust.

The air quality in Hanoi and HCM City has been poor for many days. The concentration of PM2.5 fine dust has been higher than the permitted level.




Experts said the air pollution comes from three major sources – transport, construction works and industrial production.

Of these, transport activities make up 20 percent of carbon emissions around the globe. In Vietnam, the figure is 10.8 percent, according to the World Bank.

Le Thi Xuan Lan, a meteorological expert, has warned that the air quality in HCM City won’t improved until the 2020 Lunar New Year (late January 2020 and early February).

The air quality in Hanoi and HCM City has been poor for many days. The concentration of PM2.5 fine dust has been higher than the permitted level.

In Hanoi, the AQI was between 151 and 200 at 9 am of December 29, 2019. It was 160 on Pham Van Dong street, 157 on Hang Dau, 157 in Hoan Kiem district and 157 in Bac Tu Liem district.

VTC News reported that from September to December 2019, Hanoi and some northern provinces experienced many spells of serious air pollution. The capital city at some moments had an AQI exceeding 300.

The emission volume is predicted to increase by 6-7 percent per annum to reach 70 million tons by 2030. Petrol-run motorbikes are believed to be the biggest polluting culprit.

However, the experts said if applying reasonable policies, Vietnam can reduce carbon emissions in the transport sector by 8-9 percent with domestic resources and by 15-20 percent if it can get international support and active participation of the private sector.

In current conditions, experts agree that changing the way people travel needs to be done. They said replacing petrol-run motorbikes with electric motorbikes is an inevitable trend. Large urban areas are considering restricting or prohibiting petrol-run motorbikes.

According to the Vietnam Association of Motorbike Manufacturers (VAMM), nearly 500,000 electric bicycles were sold in Vietnam in 2018, an increase of 30 percent over 2016.

But electric motorbike manufacturers still have not well prepared for the demand increase. At electric motorbike shops in Hanoi, one can see some models from China and a few models from Japan and South Korea. There are also some Vietnamese brands, but people believe that the products are assembled with Chinese accessories.

However, analysts believe that the market situation will change considerably with the appearance of VinFast, a Vietnamese brand. 

Thien Nhien


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