Smart Grid

Electric motorcycles growing in customer adoption

Cumulative worldwide sales of electric motorcycles and electric scooters will total 55 million from 2014 to 2023, according to a recent report from Navigant Research.

Driven by rising gasoline prices and increasingly congested city streets, more consumers are starting to turn to two-wheeled electric vehicles, including e-motorcycles and e-scooters. Although this market remains heavily concentrated in China, which accounts for 98 percent of worldwide sales, growth is expected to occur across many regions, particularly after 2015.

“Although high component costs and sluggish demand currently hamper the sales of electric two-wheel vehicles today, this market is poised for growth as consumer markets continue to expand and new high-profile competitors such as Harley Davidson enter the market,” says John Gartner, research director with Navigant Research. “In many areas, the use of e-motorcycles and e-scooters is permitted on roads and on paths designated for bicycles and scooters, broadening their appeal for younger motorists.”

Prices for electric two-wheel vehicles remain higher than for their internal combustion engine counterparts, which has limited their appeal. Despite these challenges, manufacturers of these vehicles are finding strategies for success, according to the report — including targeting the fleet market, which has proven to be a successful niche for e-motorcycles and e-scooters in both law enforcement and small cargo delivery. Going forward, the shifting nature of personal mobility is also expected to contribute to the increased interest in using scooters and motorcycles for transportation.