Electric Motorcycle To Grow 3 Folds by 2030 As Competition Heats Up in Asia

Electric cars won’t be the only rechargeable vehicles populating the streets of the future, especially in Asia.

Credit: Ann Wang via Reuters

Bloomberg reports there’s now an ongoing shift towards electric motorcycles in countries where the two-wheeled vehicles are already commonplace, and manufacturers are taking notice.


Asia, in particular, is emerging as the biggest market for these new vehicles because, unlike Europe, for example, a lot of countries in the region are more densely packed and crowded. As a result, motorcycles are often the vehicle of choice among households. They’re significantly cheaper than cars, making them more accessible to anyone who wants to enjoy private transport.


For instance, Thailand is the country with the highest number of motorcycles per person, with 87% of households owning at least one. It’s followed by Vietnam at 86%, Indonesia at 85% and Malaysia at 83%. China and India are also large markets.


Motorcycles in Asia typically run on gasoline, as the report points out. Transportation experts, however, are now noticing a rapid shift towards electric alternatives in these countries, opening up the potential to grow the market.


Arushi Kotecha, an auto industry analyst at the global research firm Economist Intelligence Unit believes there’s plenty of room to grow the electric motorcycle market in India and Southeast Asia, where disposable income isn’t high and sedans remain expensive. She notes that the rising prices of petrol could further accelerate the shift, so much so that the market for electric motorcycles in Asia will likely exceed current levels by two to three times by 2030.


A previous report forecasted that sales for electric motorcycles will double from US$15.73 billion in 2020 to US$30.52 billion by 2030.


China is said to be currently leading the manufacturing of these vehicles, most of which are electric scooters. The Beijing-based NIU Technologies, for example, is one of the biggest companies in the market right now. But there are companies from other countries as well, including Taiwan, India and Japan, among others.


Tu Le, President of Auto Industry Consultancy at Sino Auto Insights, claims the challenge in Asia is setting up charging stations to make electric motorcycles a sustainable vehicle of choice no matter where a rider plans to go, be it a city or less-developed countryside.

Gogoro's Swap and Go battery solution. Credit: Gogoro

Taiwan's Gogoro offers one solution to this problem: instead of waiting to recharge, riders just need to replace their motorcycle’s battery. They only need to drive to one of the stations and exchange batteries for free. Then again, this doesn’t necessarily alleviate range fears as battery stations still need to be set up for this solution to work.


What seems likely to happen at this point though is that these challenges don’t seem to be stopping the adoption of electric motorcycles in Asia, given the growth already being observed today. And manufacturers will surely be competing for the lion's share of this important market.

 
  • Asia is emerging as the biggest market for electric motorcycles and manufacturers seem to be taking notice.

  • Motorcycles in Asia typically run on gasoline, but transportation experts are noticing a rapid shift towards electric alternatives among countries in the region.

  • The shift is so fast that an industry analyst believes the market for electric motorcycles in Asia will exceed current levels by two to three times by 2030.

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