China is leading market for e-motorcycles
Asia Pacific dominates the global market for electric motorcycles and scooters, according to a new report. Last year Asia bought nearly 17 million e-motorcycles against a paltry 300,000 for the rest of the world, said Pike Research.
While most regions are in their early states, Pike says that “one region stands out as an established market: China, where the market is highly fragmented with a large number of small manufacturers”.
It also believes that while sales are on the increase, the market landscape is due for change and it identifies Chinese company Jiangsu Xinri E-Vehicle and US-firm Zero Motorcycles as being best positioned to succeed even further.
The “Pike Pulse Report: Electric Motorcycles and Scooters” evaluates 12 of the leading electric motorcycle and scooter manufacturers and rates them on 12 criteria for strategy and execution. As the large conventional players like Honda and KTM, have entered the electric market, Pike reports that competitors like Brammo, New Vetrix, and Current Motor Company have drastically revised their business plans or developed new products over the last two years.
“Most e-motorcycle and e-scooters are still in their first or second generation,” says senior analyst Dave Hurst. “Business relationships, distribution and production strategies, and sustainable business models are still in formation. Because the market is still in its very early stages, most of the overall rankings in our Pike Pulse report are lower than one would expect in a mature or fully developed market.”
The distribution channels remain a significant hurdle in this market as it is dominated by large, international original equipment manufacturers of petrol scooters and motorcycles which are only now starting to test market their electric products.
Companies like Honda are shaking up the market thanks to deep budgets and established dealer networks. Although the e-scooter and e-motorcycle market has yet to develop high sales volumes outside of the Chinese market, companies are finding success through fleet and off-road markets.
Using the Pike's proprietary analysis and scoring system, both Zero and Jiangsu Xinri showed characteristics that put them at the top of the pile, currently.
Zero Motorcycles came in at number one due to a combination of strong strategic planning and good execution on that plan. With a product lineup well-suited to the less cost-conscious early adopter market, the company has put together a strong management team and continues to build a robust dealer network in the key regions of Western Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and North America.
Jiangsu Xinri E-Vehicle has a very different business plan than Zero. The company has been growing its market for e-scooters steadily by offering a wide variety of models to fit what consumers in China need today and has found some success in exporting to Asia Pacific, North America, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America as well.
The company plans to double production by raising funds through a stock initial public offering in early 2012.