Electric bikes for everybody?

Zero DS
Pike Research thinks electric motorcycles like the Zero DS will be more populer than their scooter counterparts in North America.
Zero DS
Pike Research thinks electric motorcycles like the Zero DS will be more popular than their scooter counterparts in North America.

Whether old-fashioned gearheads like it or not, a lot of people are saying electric motorcycles are here to stay. A recently released study from Pike Research reveals that their numbers are growing fast.

Last week’s news from Montreal’s LITO Green Motion is a good example of the sort of innovation going on in the world of battery-powered bikes. Are plug-in machines really the wave of the future, though? Pike Research seems to think so, with a recent study that predicts 2.9 million e-motorcycles being sold around the world annually by 2017.

Think that’s a big number? They’re also predicting a  19.6 million e-scooter market by 2017; they expect 138 million electric two-wheelers on the road by then. North America will see about 41,000 electric motorcycles and 28,000 electric scooters sold in 2017, the report predicts.

Is the world ready for high-performance electric bikes, like the LITO Sora?

Do you think that’s a pie-in-the-sky wishful guess, dreamed up by the same sort of dreamy futuristic thinker that believes in Buck Rogers or Star Trek? Not so. Consider this: According to Pike Research, there’s already close to 20 million electric scooters and bikes in use right now in 2011, a number few would have imagined 10 years ago.

Want to know more about Pike Research’s report? You can find more information at their website here.


  1. Your investment in an electric bike can pay dividends beyond U. S.
    borders. Your purchase supports the growth of an industry that could
    make a big difference in developing countries.

  2. On the subject of ebikes:

    Do these things really belong in bicycle lanes, and on bicycle paths and such? Should they be on the roads without license on insurance? I have to insure myself against personal injury and loss of income when I ride a motorcycle on the road – is there something that makes the riders of ebikes immune to the laws of physics?

    • Ebikes right now are only immune to laws of immediate corporate premiums and governmental taxation economics. (Give the ebike a chance, you will not be able to afford one soon enough).
      I pay premiums on a house insurance policy unused over 20 years, worth a million dollars overall, costing over $20,000.00 over time. Why should not ebikes belong here?
      The only reply is go back to bicycles. Ran Prieur has a world take on this. I say, only corporations have interests in money making on “every” activity that moves us, but “us” people have no such “profitable” interests, and should take care of our own. Electric? Why not? Gas? Why? Unless needed, of course! We pay dearly, now for water, I await a taxation and user fee on air, that my car consumes, possibly a personal utility usage fee also, it will come! Guaranteed, as a seat belt ticket tells you, it is for your protection, baby! Never for corporate or special interests at all. Now, do I need to insure my regular bicycle? By your assumptions, of course, I do. Yes, the masses know better, they are well educated! It is consumerism at the foremost peak – of docile sheeple comportment.

  3. Cantire sold a lot of electric scooters mopeds and those 10 speed conversion e bikes. I see a lot of people riding them too. They mostly look like people who got their licenses suspended for dui 🙂

  4. As a sidebar comment, the tropical countries ride motorbikes everyday, all year long for transportation purposes, my pal, not for fun or a luxury like in Canada, in Dominican Republic, 5 people on a Moped, Dad, Mom (with 2 children on 2 legs), Dad (with little baby on his lap), with 1 gallon gas tank on this moped floor, this 5 person family going to the city town of San Pedro, (there is no laws there, no safety like in Canada, don’t kid yourself with your Canadian citizen rich like status), friend, of innate stature or entitlement, look at the world status first, and see the reality, you are at the top of the food chain, and are about to come down with time, it is the times, it is the reality, of world economics. E bikes are cool. Really!

  5. Sorry forgot to say most in the world are not fortunate like Canadians.
    Electric bikes have yet to really take off in the UK and US, but in China they’re now outstripping car sales by a huge margin.

    Some 20 million e-bikes are expected to be sold in the People’s Republic this year – the same number as in 2007 and 2008, according to a report in The Washington Post.

    Link here http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/electric-bike-sales-soaring-in-china-24356/

    • I understand that in other countries there are different standards of living and levels of safety awareness, but we are in Canada…and the last time I checked there were no tropical areas in this country.

      Yes, it is the land of milk and honey compared to many countries…but this is CMG, so most people in here will have a different perspective than you are expecting…it is called a paradym which is shaped from your own personal experiences and how you look at the world you live in.

      For me living in Alberta where it is winter from November to March (ice and snow on the road the majority of the time), an electric bike is not something that I would even consider…not really because of the winter, but because of the riding that I do…but if I lived in Vancouver and stayed in town it might be a consideration…same for the electric cars that are supposed to take over…I’m not sold yet that at -30C the car will move…heater, headlights, traction control systems…all will use up the power of the battery much quicker than in a more “friendly” climate. I know the technology is coming, but I don’t think it is quite here yet.


      • Hi Buddy, all I say is keep an open mind, read up on electric tech, see youtube videos, like white Datsun, Tesla Car, I know, prices need downing, but oil has gone up, these techs will come, not from America, from China, and others that use them all the time.
        Cheers, friend.

  6. What is Myopia? Short sightedness.
    In economics, bottom line numbers and fundamental survival is paramount, people will shift when it is economically imperative to do so, an (e bike) is about 1000 bucks, it leaves the dinosaur car parked in the yard, for a while anyway, I really pity the big city commuters travelling to their working places, it is their big city reality, it is not mine, I live in ebike distance of shopping, of work, so I will use this economic tool, remember – I am a former motorcyclist biker – I like the no license plate, no insurance, no speed ticket potential, of the ebike. Real nice to go past $1.40 a liter (Northerner am I) gasoline petrol polluting obsolete, redundant, yesterday, old school tech, (I cannot afford to go there anymore) stuff! Yeah, I will drive my car when I really have to. And I will pay much for this Canada Ontario Privilege.

  7. 20 million in use today ? Really? I find that extremely hard to believe. As an average cost of , say $1000, proably low, that means it’s already a $20 billion industry. Wow, where were the motorcycle manufacturers, and how did they miss this market?
    I went to the website of this research firm to verify their numbers, but the report costs $3800 to get. Uh, guess I’ll pass.
    Wonder how long before that number is all over the web, accepted as gospel.
    It must be true, I saw it online.

  8. I believe that the “estimate” is a little optimistic…most of us buy a bike for a toy (in Canada)…I don’t think there are too many places that a bike/scooter can be sensibly ridden all year round…and most are not just ridden in the city, we like to get out and tour on our bikes…range becomes a huge issue.

    And for me, I would need to have some kind of noise. That is part of the bike experience for me, not loud and obnoxious but the sound of the engine, shifting gears…all of it…the electrics make it more of an appliance than a toy…

    Just my opinion…


  9. At what price ? You can buy a P.O.S. Chinese, Korean or Taiwanese scooter for under $4K, well less than half the price of any of the ‘real’ electrics. Not yet they’r not…

Join the conversation!