top of page
  • Writer's pictureSilvia Josten

By 2030, 30 % of two-wheelers worldwide will be electric

Motorradfahrer fährt auf Landstraße mit Tannenwald im Hintergrund.

The McKinsey Center for Future Mobility has predicted the future of two-wheeled e-mobility in an article published in August entitled "The true global EV buzz comes on two wheels". The authors of the article conclude that by 2030, over 30 % of two-wheelers worldwide will be pure electric. Are we witnessing a real trend reversal or is the wishful thinking of e-mobilists playing too big a role here?

Electrification of two-wheelers on the rise

The share of purely electric vehicles in road traffic is rising, that is obvious. But the trend of e-mobility does not only include the now well-known and much observed e-cars. Two-wheeled BEVs are also gaining in importance. Electrification could also revolutionise the two-wheeled market - mopeds, scooters, motorbikes and motorbikes, which account for about 30% of global mobility. These vehicles are a vital link in the transport network, especially in China, South Asia and Southeast Asia, with about 45 million units sold in 2021.

Currently, the share of e-two-wheelers is still small, but more and more new brands have recently entered the international market. The trend of new suppliers for electric vehicles is therefore not limited to passenger cars. For the two-wheeler market, an annual growth rate of 8.7 % is forecast until 2029, and by 2030, one third of all two-wheelers worldwide are expected to be electrically powered. Unfortunately, the ban on the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines from 2035 as decided in the EU does not (yet) apply to two-wheelers - politicians have probably not thought far enough here.

Grafik mit blauen Punkten und Angaben zur Verteilung der Marktanteile elektrischer Zweiräder.

While China and developing countries focus on smaller, typically commercial or transport-oriented vehicles, interest in North America and Europe is higher in premium brands with more than 500 cubic capacity. Use for recreational and sporting purposes is the main focus here.

China, for example, is leading the world in electric vehicle penetration because the government has strongly supported electrification. Europe still has some catching up to do.

Why are electric two-wheelers not moving forward?

There are several reasons why electric e-mopeds or e-motorcycles still attract little attention in this country.

Higher purchase costs

Currently, the purchase prices of electric two-wheelers are still in the upper price segments. This initially deters potential buyers, even if the follow-up costs are significantly lower and an e-vehicle is cheaper to drive overall.

Subsidies also available for light electric vehicles

Legislators and municipalities offer financial incentives for the purchase of e-cargo bikes or e-cars - the vehicle categories in between are left empty-handed. This is why the Federal Association for eMobility appeals to the government to improve the conditions for purchasing an e-two-wheeler.

Short ranges

The distances that electric two-wheelers can cover without recharging are usually relatively short. While they are sufficient for daily errands and trips into the surrounding area, many electric alternatives still reach their limits on long journeys.

Lack of charging infrastructure

Charging is usually done via normal household sockets. Public charging stations, however, offer the usual AC or DC charging options for e-cars. However, not every electric two-wheeler has the possibility to charge with a Type2 charging plug. Here, an expansion of the charging infrastructure is needed.

A look into the future

Battery technology for electric two-wheelers will continue to develop rapidly and significantly. Thanks to considerable progress in the development of batteries, electric two-wheelers will soon no longer be limited by their range. The current energy density of lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) and nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) batteries is already 180 and 250 Wh/kg, respectively, allowing a range of 80 to 120 km per charge. Sodium-ion batteries will expand the range in the future. To this end, battery manufacturers will make production more efficient and cheaper in the long run, which will have an impact on the price. Subsidies for other energy sources will be reduced in the future, oil prices will rise and thus the consumption figures will become even more attractive compared to a combustion engine vehicle.

Motorradfahrer in dunklem Tunnel fährt auf Kamera zu.

Manufacturers can benefit from the upswing in electric two-wheelers if they consider the following factors.

Know the market: Manufacturers must know the needs of their customers and offer appropriate solutions. Only products that generate high customer satisfaction will succeed.

Cost control: Procurement costs must be in relation to manufacturing costs and the subsequent RRP, so that cost-covering production is guaranteed in the long term. This is especially true for batteries. On the one hand, in-house developments are popular, but it may be more interesting, especially for new brands, to fall back on well-known standard batteries.

Establish presence: A brand needs to be known in order to be found and to build trust. A product should inspire the prospective buyer. This starts with the research, through the buying process, to the customer service after the purchase of a vehicle, which includes comprehensive customer support.

Make EV ownership easy: OEMs should actively promote the development of charging or exchange infrastructures and ensure that users can recharge their batteries on the go as easily as combustion engine users fill up their tanks. This should be complemented by offering attractive financing options to purchase the vehicle, such as leasing offers or job vehicles.

Take the leading role: Manufacturers should take their customers' feedback seriously and learn from it to make product and service improvements. This enables them to develop innovative and modern vehicles that stand out from the comparable combustion variants.

Scaling sustainability: CO₂-reducing aspects of product manufacturing should be taken into account right from the start-up phase of the company. Sustainable procurement strategies with short supply chains, environmentally friendly materials, well-recyclable batteries and the use of renewable energies are just a few features.

Precaution: Government support for electrification can be a temporarily helpful measure to push electric two-wheelers in the market. However, they may be reduced again at a later stage and then manufacturers should be prepared for higher manufacturing costs. Are you looking for an electric two-wheeler? You'll find what you're looking for in our e-shop!



bottom of page