Report claims electric motorcycle sales will climb rapidly

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According to a report by Navigant Research, global electric motorcycle sales will climb to six million units a year by 2023.

Never heard of Navigant? We hadn’t either; according to their website, they’re a “market research and consulting team that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets.” Supposedly, that gives them insight into electric vehicle sales. They’re using their knowledge to make the bold claim that battery bike sales are going to climb rapidly.

Navigant says sales will be slow for a while yet, but after 2015 a combination of consumer interest and an increase in supply will make sales grow rapidly.

According to John Gartner, a research director with Navigant: “Consumers are seeking refuge from higher gasoline prices, electric two-wheel vehicles are growing more mature, and cities are becoming increasingly congested with traffic. All of these factors will contribute to growing demand for power two-wheel vehicles — particularly high-powered e-motorcycles.”

Is he right? A couple years ago, there seemed to be a lot of interesting growth in the battery bike scene, with people like Chip Yates advancing technology rapidly. Then reality set in: These bikes were always more expensive than their gasoline-powered counterparts, and long charging times coupled with limited battery range meant they weren’t suited for use outside urban centres, despite the efforts of a few folks who managed cross-country runs.

Those limitations have meant low-cost electric two-wheelers have sold well in markets like China, where commuters have snapped them up, but expensive high-performance machines haven’t sold well in North America, and haven’t done much better in Europe.

Navigant says that’s about to change, though. They believe tightening restrictions in China mean sales will drop there, while sales in North America and Europe will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 30 per cent by 2023. Bold claims indeed!

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(Daily News & Assistant Editor) Zac earned his job at CMG by crashing Editor ‘Arris’s Konker in 2010, proving he was one of the sad few afflicted by the CMG curse. Originally from PEI, he now lives in a van down by the river, just outside Saint John, New Brunswick with a collection of tattered Hunter S. Thompson paperbacks.


  1. Kurt Navigant is a bit more diverse than that if you look at their portfolio. Investigators also make good researchers. Same tools stops them being internet fools.

  2. All factors such as charging time, range and cost are being addressed all the time. Lightnings method of charging is one such. Performance and range can be seen in Zeros SR and X(swappable battery pack) . And prices are down also if you use solar power in your home you can charge and be running co2 free. This makes for faster cost recovery when you compare to ICE bikes.

  3. If a lightweight (ie under 400 lbs) bike with 200 km range comes out for under $10,000, I’m in.
    Until then I’ll keep riding gas-burner

  4. I just bactracked the highlighted navigant and checked out their website, i always do that for anybody posting a “factual” report online. They may have good data but then again, it is the internet….

  5. At the risk of repeating myself- It all comes down to initial cost, range, recharge time and recycleability.
    Solve all those issues and we’ll talk…

  6. The misery at the gas pump these days has me think more about electrics, and hybrids. Though from what I have read, the cost of performance electric motorcycles will have to come down sharply. That would be the lure to switch for many, with the added feeling of stepping into the future.

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