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. China has been adopting electric bicycles and now has converted some of the over 500 million bicycle commuters in China to 140 million on electric bicycles. About 16 million of them are on electric scooters and electric motorcycles.
Most countries define e-bikes as vehicles that have pedals and can be human-powered as well as powered by a low-powered motor with limited speed capabilities. China, however, does not require e-bikes to have pedals, but limits them simply to 20 kph (12 mph). The classification of e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-motorcycles varies substantially across the globe.
In 2010, Pike Research had forecast that more than 466 million e-bikes, e-motorcycles, and e-scooters will be sold worldwide during the period from 2010 to 2016. E-bikes were forecast to have the largest category with 56% of the market, followed by e-motorcycles at 43% and e-scooters in a distant third place with less than 1%. This does not match the breakdown of the 2011 forecast as they had different definitions of motorcycle, scooter and bicycle. They probably also had different writers for the forecasts.
The e-scooter market will be significantly larger than the e-motorcycle market in 2017 due entirely to the 19.6 million e-scooter market in Asia Pacific, which is 98% of the global market. The e-motorcycle market will reach 2.9 million vehicles annually by 2017. North America’s e-scooter and e-motorcycle markets are expected to grow rapidly over the next five years to reach 41,146 and 27,971 vehicles respectively by 2017. 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.