|Pike global markets forecast of annual electric two-wheel vehicle sales, excluding Asia-Pacific, through 2016. Click to enlarge.|
A new report from Pike Research anticipates that the global market for electric two-wheeled vehicles—e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-motorcycles—will grow at a compound annual rate of 9% through 2016.
China is currently the largest marketplace for electric two-wheel vehicles, commanding 98% of the global market in 2009. China’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% between 2009 and 2016 will contribute to Asia-Pacific’s sales of 78.6 million electric two-wheel vehicles in 2016 (with a CAGR of 8.9% for the region overall), according to the report, “Electric Two-Wheel Vehicles Electric Bicycles, Mopeds, Scooters, and Motorcycles: Market Analysis and Forecasts”.
Outside Asia, Pike Research forecasts Western Europe as having the largest market for electric two-wheel vehicles with 1.941 million vehicles for a CAGR of 17.3% between 2009 and 2016. In the e-bike market, the Western European region will garner a disproportionate share of revenue ($2.4 billion in 2016), relative to unit sales. Western Europe will account for 3.4% of the global e-bike marketplace by 2016, generating 12% of the revenue from the global market.
A similar, albeit smaller scale, market dynamic will exist in North America by 2016, when North America’s share of global sales will be 1.9%, which will represent 5.6% of the global revenue ($1.2 billion in e-bike revenue in 2016).
The classification of electric two-wheelers varies substantially across the globe, Pike notes. Most countries define e-bikes as pedalled vehicles that can be human-powered and have limited speed capabilities. China, however, does not require e-bikes to have pedals, but limits them to 20 km/h (12 mph).
The demographics of those using e-bikes align with key socioeconomic, demographic, and behavioral trends in their respective countries, the report says. Among the findings:
In North America, the vehicles are more of a lifestyle or style choice, rather than fulfilling a missing transportation need. Consumers tend to be baby-boomers (age 45 to 65) and affluent.
In many Middle Eastern, African and Latin American countries, the consumers tend to be working and young. The United Nations forecasts substantial growth in these markets within populations aged 15 to 64.
In Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, increased urbanization and growing wealth contribute to the need for (and ability to purchase) reliable transportation.
E-bikes are growing as a fitness tool in North America and Europe.
People increasingly accept electric two-wheel vehicles as capable forms of transportation, particularly in densely populated urban areas. Since the cost of ownership of an e-motorcycle or e-scooter remains low enough to see payback on the vehicle within a year or two of purchase, the market is likely to remain strong in markets with high economic growth rates.
One of the most important barriers to the market for electric two-wheel vehicles is the lack of an established distribution channel for the vehicles, the report notes. Many manufacturers are trying to find a combination of independent dealers, mass retailers, and online sales that will effectively deliver the vehicles and after-sales service to customers. Most manufacturers acknowledge this as one of the most difficult aspects of the electric two-wheel marketplace.
The Pike Research report provides an overview of the battery technology, key opportunities and barriers, and key drivers of market growth, and explores the demographic and economic forces impacting the growth of electric two-wheel vehicles. Detailed forecasts are included for electric motorcycles, electric scooters and electric bikes in different global regions. Key market players are also profiled.