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!