Published on August 31st, 2014 | by James Ayre


55 Million Electric Motorcycles & Scooters By 2023

August 31st, 2014 by  

Cumulative worldwide sales of electric motorcycles and electric scooters during the years of 2014 through 2023 will top 55 million units, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

The report — Electric Motorcycles and Scooters — provides an overview of expected trends in the e-motorcycles, e-scooters, and related battery technology markets. While the majority of these markets are currently centered around China, the report notes that that looks set to change — big growth is expected in a number of regions elsewhere in the world, thanks to rising fossil fuel prices (amongst other things), especially after 2015.

BMW C Evolution electric scooter. Credit: Zachary Shahan / CleanTechnica / EV Obsession (CC BY-SA 4.0 license)


“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,” stated 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.”

While the currently relatively high prices for electric two-wheel vehicles remains something of an obstacle to wider adoption, the report notes that manufacturers are finding some effective strategies for success. Perhaps the most effective to date of these strategies is the targeting of 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”.

Some information on what exactly is to be found in the report: “The report examines the global markets for high-powered and low-powered e-motorcycles, e-scooters, and related battery technologies. The report provides an analysis of the market drivers and barriers and key technology issues related to e-motorcycles and e-scooters, as well as the impact of government influence. Global forecasts for the vehicles, and the batteries used in them, segmented by region, technology, and internal combustion engine motor size equivalent, extend through 2023. The report also examines the market for gasoline motorcycles and scooters, battery market issues, the effect of electric vehicle charging equipment, and the major industry players.”

Those interested can find a free Executive Summary of the report here.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Brian Donovan

    40 years ago(I’m getting old!) I built my own eletric bikes with lead acid car batteries, old junk starter motors and my own high current mechanical switches. Sparky, but it worked, great torque. Range was only 5 miles but it could beat some motorcycles climbing hills.

    The new eletric bikes with rare earth brushless motors, lithium batteries and electronics controls are beautiful. The performance now actually rivals gas, not the range, yet.

    Even eletric bicycles are now amazing, fast, long range, and calorie backup.

  • JamesWimberley

    As usual, Navigant’s projections are cautious. The global market for all motorbikes and scooters is around 120 million a year, or 1.2 billion in the decade. Navigant expect under 5% will be electric. Really?

    In addition to the usual technical and economic factors making for the transition – cheaper and better batteries, mass production – there are social and political factors to be considered. The young people who form the largest part of the market for two-wheelers tend not to be politically influential. It’s easy for green or greenwashing mayors to score cheap pojnts by discouraging noisy, polluting ICE two-wheelers and promoting electric ones with free charging and the like. For parents, limited top speed and range, combined with higher reliability, are features not bugs.

    • Philip W

      Exactly. I don´t know if those people really believe the electric market will grow so slowly or if they are just scared to predict a bigger number for whatever reason.
      There is a tipping point and once we reach it, almost every car/motorcycle sold will be electric. Right now a lot of people still don´t know how far EV technology has come and how many advantages it has like low maintenance and low cost to charge.

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