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Forecast: Electric Two-Wheelers Poised for Strong Global Growth; 9% CAGR Worldwide

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.


The Goracle


Nice! Many more deaths and mutilations due to lack of protection. It's good being green!!! Who cares about lives. GREEN RULES!!!

Yes, speaking from experience - 300 stitches, massive loss of blood, when a car turned left in front of me while I was on my bike.



Many large cities (specially in Asia) already have secured bike lanes. Kuala Lumpur is a good example with high speed (noisy and polluting) motor bike lanes. Electrified bikes would be a welcomed improvement in most Asian cities with warm climate.

It is much more economical to move people with low cost cleaner running e-bikes (or e-buses or e-trains and/or e-subways) than with huge polluting Hummer type gas guzzlers.

Too many Americans and Canadians are still addicted to large inefficient polluting ICE vehicles.

The Goracle


Yes, a friend was killed recently while riding his bike. At least he wasn't addicted to large inefficient polluting ICE vehicles. But, he's dead now so it doesn't really matter what he may have been addicted to. A large inefficient polluting ICE vehicle would have saved his life but we should make them illegal if we can. It's only human life. We have Mother Nature to worry about! Get with it, people!



120 million Chinese ride ebikes while the US has 200,000 - 1/600th. Something is going to balance.


e-bikes are a bit faster than pbikes, and can extend the range you can cover in comfort.

However, they are just as dangerous, (maybe worse as they are faster), but confer no health benefits as you get no exercise.

The main way to accept the risk of injury is to consider the definite health (cardiovascular) benefits which accrue to all office workers.

However, you don't get this with e-bikes, only increased range and lack of sweat (useful in hot countries).

But for medium length commutes in crowded cities, they are a pretty good idea (in terms of reduced journey times and low cost).

I wonder will the Chinese stick with e-bikes, or go to 4 wheels as fast as they can?

The Goracle


kelly, Please live off of the wages of the average Chinese person then get back to me with regard to how wonderful the forced-bike riding life is.

And remember Cuba has FREE health care!!! Swooooonnnn!!!! What a paradise. If we could all only have free, but close to zero, health care.



Goracle, please live off of the wages of the average Chinese person then get back to me with regard to how wonderful the multi-ton SUV riding life is - while you starve away.

And remember Cuba has FREE health care, as do 40 other civilized countries!!!

"Swooooonnnn!!!! What a paradise. If we could all only have free, but close to zero, health care."

We have ".. close to zero, health care.", but our taxes have already paid for full 'free' healthcare.

It's just that people like you would rather spend more than the rest of the world on arms, on billion dollar bid-less contracts, and on medical insurance firms than the actual health of the nation's citizens.


kelly, don't waste your breath.

Peace Hugger

@ Goracle

"...forced-bike riding.."

Are you in La La Land?


Goracle, if we did make cars illegal, as you suggest, surely the number of pedestrians and bicyclists killed each year would go down. The number of motorists killed every year would become zero. The total number of all individuals killed while using any mode of transportation would go down. No, I don't think we should make cars illegal, but your argument that bikes are unsafe and cars are safer because cars tend to run over bikes and therefore we should all drive cars and not use bikes is completely illogical.

Thomas Lankester

Hi Mahonj

You have to be careful in the definition of an e-bike. The EU definition (outside the UK) requires pedal input (i.e. pedelec vehicles). These can have even more health benefits than normal push bikes as the rider is more likely to exercise aerobically. Also the reduced stress on joints enables more users to take up pedalling. I have to limit my cycling to work to 3 days per week due to a dodgy right knee. I don't have a pedalec yet but if/when my knee gets worse then I will probably will buy and use one.

If it gets more people pedalling then the health benefits will outweigh the dangers of being taken out by the 4+ wheelers.

Thomas Lankester

That incident where you were cut up sounds horrendous. I hope you are physically better now but obviously the incident had affected your attitude to cycling.

Standing back though, the damage done was the fault of the car and its driver cutting you up. If the principle is that you should give up cycling then that cannot be just. If there is a rapist, do we blame women for walking at night? The perpetrator, not the victim is at fault and should be dealt with, surely?

On the specifics of cycle safety. The most effective way to reduce the rate (per km travelled) of Killed and Seriously Injured (KSI) cyclists is to increase the number of cyclists on the road. In cities with significantly higher rates of cycling (e.g. Oxford, Cambridge, York in the UK) the driving public is more careful and cycle aware. As pedelecs and e-bikes look and behave in the same ways as push bikes (from a driver's perspective) then if these electrified vehicles increase the number of cyclists then it should also improve safety.


Tho., good point. The more cyclists the better. In the U.S. Portland is a good example. Better yet, more bike lanes that are 'true' bike lanes, not shared by autos.


Nice article and summary. Being an electric bike owner for a year and 2500 miles, I'm definitely the typical American e bike owner. This demographic won't change, and e bikes will not become popular here, until the price drops below the magical $1k for a good quality example.
China has 120 million e bikes that have about 2500 deaths a year. Much better record than American motorcycle riders, who had over 5100 deaths with 6.6 million registered motorcycles.
E bikes provide more exercise than standard bikes for one simple reason: they can be used every day without regard for weather conditions or initial laziness. I went from using a bike 2 times a month to using my e bike 5 times a week. And it’s used for running errands, something my regular bike never provided, thus saving a 100 gallons of gas and pollution etc.


Bikes are not safe when they have to travel with cars on the road. China was mostly bikes and now is getting more cars. At some point if you can not beat them, you join them.


We should all have a second look at USA's yearly road fatalities:

1) Total killed 40,000 to 45,000 a year

2) Total injured 2 to 3 million a year.

3) pcyclists killed 700 a year

3) pcyclists injured 43,000 a year

4) motorcyclists killed 5000 a year

4) motorcyclists injured 103,000 a year.

5) cars killed 30,000 a year

5) cars injured 1,450,000 a year

6) light trucks killed 17,000 a year

6) light trucks injured 860,000 a year.

7) pedestrians killed, 4,800 a year

7) pedestrians injured 70,000 a year

It seems that cylists are safer than walkers and cars/trucks driving.


@Thomas, I accept that many e-bikes allow pedaling, and that you get some exercise fro this - it is not all or nothing.
However, I doubt that you get more exercise from e-bikes than from p-bikes, except in exceptional cases.
It is just to easy to let the battery do the pushing.

@Joepath, I accept that initial lazyness might be a factor, but I fail to understand why weather would be a factor, unless it was very hot.
If it is cold, and you use an e-bike, you stay cold, if it is wet, you get wet - at least with a p-bike, if it is cold, you will warm up after 10-20 minutes (this is my experience). (And you will get as wet as the e-bike guys).

The bad knee arguement makes sense; the main advantage of 2 wheelers is that they can keep moving when 4 wheeled traffic is gridlocked, and that this works for e- and p- bikes. Once you get used to skimming past the stationary traffic, you may be reluctant to getting into a 4 wheeler to sit in traffic.

Thus, e-bikes should be a very suitable commuting choice for anyone in a gridlocked city, or who wants to keep their co2 count down.

Thomas Lankester

Ah. I was not very clear in my post. The EU directive for pedelecs requires pedalling for the electric assist to take place. Simply getting bored and twisting a throttle is not supposed to be an option for this (legal) class of vehicle. The distinction can get mixed up when the EU directive gets translated into individual national legislation as occurred in the UK where e-bikes (twist and go, not pedelecs) are legal. There is now a government consultation that could result in the UK law being tightened to prevent
e-bikes being used on cycle paths etc.

RE the exercise: it is not that the electric assisted pedalling of pedelecs increases the amount of exercise but it can increase the quality by helping to maintain aerobic exercise. Like many commuter cyclists I tend to 'go for it'. This puts my leg muscles into anerobic metabolism which gives quite poor quality exercise. If I am careless I occasionally get leg-racking cramps due to the lactic acid build up.


Even in the US cycling on average extends your life (i.e. the risk you assume is less than the health benefits you gain). (See the intro to this survey paper for details:


In countries that are actually good at keeping their citizens happy and healthy (e.g. Denmark and Holland) the benefits of cycling are correspondingly even greater as they have effective policies that limit death and injury from poorly designed transport systems.

The US, of course, could do that too, but that would require a less corrupt political system (and probably smarter citizens, too :-)

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