• E-Bicycles
  • Electric Mobility
  • Mobility Transformation
  • Urban Mobility

Electric Two-Wheel Vehicles Ride Into the Mainstream

Maria Chavez
Aug 15, 2019

Bicycle

For the past 5-10 years, a diverse group of startups have aimed to disrupt global bicycle, scooter, and motorcycle markets with electrification. With recent growth in electric two-wheel vehicle (E2WV) sales, major household names like Trek Bicycle Corporation, Specialized Bicycle Components, Vespa, Honda Motor Company, Yamaha Motor Company, and Harley-Davidson are entering the market with innovative products. Established multinational companies are the gatekeepers to mainstream adoption as they have capital, brand awareness, and customer base to broaden opportunities for electrification.

Bridging the Gap Between Traditional and E2WVs

The time to take E2WV solutions seriously has finally arrived for many well-known brands since advances in battery technology are closing the gap between E2WVs and their internal combustion engine counterparts. Increased battery capabilities, recently deployed charging, and battery swap networks are helping to reduce or remove range anxiety, which is still a major concern for riders. Longer ranges, lighter vehicles, lower purchase prices, and advanced features are being brought to market and taking off with consumers.

Major Manufacturers Entering the E2WV Market

Well-known bicycle makers like Trek and Specialized now offer e-bicycles in their product lines, which make up a major part of revenue generation. In the e-motorcycle market, Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire e-motorcycle and Honda’s plan to develop India's market for electric two-wheelers are additional examples of how major manufacturers are increasingly investing more resources into E2WVs.

Vespa began selling its Elettrica e-scooter in Europe in late 2018, and plans to bring the vehicle to the US market by the end of 2019. Additionally, Yamaha Motor Company announced it would partner with Gogoro, an integrated energy and e-scooter company, to deploy e-scooters using Gogoro’s battery swap network. Yamaha Motor Company can harness the success of Gogoro’s existing battery swap infrastructure and technology expertise while Gogoro can capitalize on Yamaha Motor Company’s well-known brand recognition and marketing capabilities. Improved marketing could lead to increased demand and large-scale manufacturing can continue to reduce production costs.

Partnerships and large-scale investments from big manufacturers cannot only lead to increased profits but also create a more accessible market for consumers by decreasing costs and accelerating the technological capabilities of E2WVs. Major manufacturer E2WV products also help increase consumer trust in electric transportation technologies.

For detailed forecasts of E2WV technologies and in-depth market analysis, see Navigant Research’s upcoming report, Electric Bicycles, Motorcycles, and Scooter Vehicles.