Why major motorbike companies are now aiming for the electric market

With the threat of climate change looming, we’re all becoming more aware of the importance of doing our bit to reduce our carbon footprints. More restaurants are offering vegan alternatives and cosmetic companies are showing off recyclable packaging or sustainable products.  

Another factor in the sustainability phenomenon? Our method of transportation. In recent years more people have flocked to public transport or taken advantage of car sharing options to avoid fuel pollution and excess vehicles on the road. With increasing demand for electric cars, many motorcycle companies are also veering towards the electric market.  

Here, we investigate the main reasons why some of the biggest players in the motorcycle industry are changing course.  

Global interest in the e-motorcycle market 

Interest in e-motorcycles has increased globally and the market for these is expected to rise to 5,948 thousand units by 2027. In comparison, 2020 had an estimated 861 thousand units. It’s predicted the pandemic will make two-wheeled vehicles more popular, especially as many are now shunning public transport to avoid spread of the virus. Countries such as India and China, where affordable transport is needed are currently dominating the market. Growth is slower in the US and the UK but is steadily increasing.  

The brands leading the revolution  

Renowned motorcycle manufacturer Kawasaki has recently announced plans to release 10 hybrid or fully-electric models in the next four years, committing to an electric future for the brand. It’s likely not all these models will be motorbikes, as Kawasaki offers a range of different products, however it’s been hinted bikes will be at the centre of the change.  

Both Honda and Yamaha are taking steps to integrate green power into their motorcycle selection. Honda is producing electric versions of two of their popular models (CB125R and CB300R) and it’s possible they may be able to utilise existing designs and parts to build these at a lower cost. Yamaha has put more focus into developing seated e-scooters, however they have released a series of designs and patents for electric motorcycles previously, so chances of these becoming a reality seem high when we consider the increased demand for e-bikes.  

Harley Davidson is another well-known manufacturer developing electric bikes. They revealed their intention to target this new market in their five year plan, The Hardwire, and are expecting to release a mid-power electric motorbike for a lower cost at the end of 2021 or in early 2022.  

Honda and Yamaha are predicted to have the upper hand when it comes to sales of electric motorcycles, as their target market is Asia, whereas most of Harley Davidson’s sales are by US customers, where interest in e-bikes is nowhere near as high.  

Buying an electric motorcycle? 

Once you decide you want an e-bike, it can still be a long wait until you get the keys, especially given the crisis the motor industry is currently facing over conductor chip shortages. Electric vehicles are also not cheap, so if you’re planning on investing in an electric motorbike then you’re going to want to have the right motorbike insurance to protect your vehicle in the event of theft or damage.  


TBN Editor

Time Business News Editor Team