Pike Research projects 138M electric motorcycles and scooters to be on the road worldwide by 2017

Pike
Cumulative battery usage by vehicle, world markets, 2011-2017. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.

According to a new report from Pike Research, the number of e-motorcycles and e-scooters on the road will increase from 17 million in 2011 to 138 million by 2017, the majority of which will be powered by lead-acid batteries.

E-motorcycles and e-scooters are already used in significant numbers in China and other parts of Asia Pacific, due in large part to urbanization trends, and people in many countries are accustomed to using two-wheel vehicles as a primary mode of transportation. In other regions, improving customer perception, government incentives, and high petroleum fuel costs all contribute in some part to the demand growth for electric motorcycles and scooters.

Electric motorcycles and scooters have strong appeal for many consumers. They are relatively low cost to own, do not take a lot of space, and are easy to maintain, therefore making them attractive for city dwellers. Governments also like these vehicles because they can utilize existing transportation and electricity infrastructure without the congestion problems and emissions impacts of conventional automobiles.

—senior analyst Dave Hurst

Hurst adds that, fueled by those same market drivers, e-scooters will represent a much larger industry, outselling e-motorcycles by a factor of more than six to one on a global basis. However, he expects that the mix will be considerably different in certain regions, such as North America, where e-motorcycles will represent 59% of combined sales due to their higher speeds and longer range than e-scooters.

Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the growth in electric two-wheel vehicles will also have a meaningful impact on demand for batteries. The vehicles will utilize both lithium ion (Li-ion) and lead acid batteries. The firm forecasts that the market for Li-ion for e-motorcycles will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24% between 2011 and 2017, while Li-ion for the e-scooters market will increase at a CAGR of 19%. The lead acid battery market will grow, as well, particularly in emerging markets, with the e-motorcycle sector garnering a 27% CAGR and e-scooters a 29% CAGR for the same period.

Markets. North American and European markets for e-motorcycles and e-scooters have been hamstrung for several years, the Pike report says due to extremely low demand for motorcycles and scooters in general. However, both are poised for growth, according to Pike.

  • North America is anticipated to grow to 41.146 annual sales of e-motorcycles by 2017, while Western Europe is expected to grow to 109,945 annual sales the same year.
  • E-scooter sales are projected to reach 27,971 in North America in 2017, with Western Europe reaching 91,625 the same year.

China is the largest market for e-motorcycles and e-scooters, forecasted to be 2.26 million and 13.53 million, respectively, by 2017. Since e-motorcycles will have to be registered, they will experience slower growth (1.8% CAGR between 2011 and 2017, compared to 4.8% CAGR for e-scooters, according to Pike. Asia Pacific, on the whole, is expected to reach sales of 2.7 million e-motorcycles and 19.6 million e-scooters by 2017.

The market for e-motorcycles and e-scooters has essentially two distinct personalities: the high-quality and expensive vehicles that are seen in developed markets, and the lower quality, significantly less expensive vehicles that are being made for emerging markets. Both markets are expected to see solid growth as the economy rebounds and EVs become more widely available.

—“Electric Motorcycles and Scooters”


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