Electric Motorcycles – The Future Of Motorcycling?
In with the new and out with the old – as they say. 2020 was a huge year for electric vehicles – especially cars – with Tesla becoming a powerhouse in the electric industry and passing Toyota to become the most valuable automaker in the world. Making huge advancements for the entire field and beating expected sales figures once again. But what about the electric motorcycle industry?
Slowly electric vehicles have been introduced into sport – similar to F1’s Formula E and the Electric GT, motorcycle racing has not been an exception. With TT Zero and Moto E being introduced since 2010, electric motorcycle and motorcycle racing has largely gone under the radar for some time now. However, with governments vowing to ban the sales of combustion engines by 2030 (correct as of time of publishing this article) and the huge push to create electric vehicles – surely the time for electric motorcycles is almost upon us? Well maybe, but we think it might be a few years yet.
In 2019 there was a 174% increase on electric motorcycles sold compared to the previous year, an amazing increase but that only brought total sales to 537 units sold. Although there will be no statistics for the 2020 financial year until April we can assume the growing trend will have continued and will have most likely have surpassed or be close to the 1000 unit mark.
Electric motorcycles boast of high torque and very low maintenance needed – two very good selling points for the casual rider and commuter alike, so why are sales figures so low? To return to the Tesla boom, Elon Musk has discussed many times the fact that batteries are so costly to create and that without the supply and demand, the costs have to rise even further. So what’s the answer? Tesla have now created a “GigaFactory” in Nevada to further reduce cost of batteries and bring the overall price of batteries down a staggering amount due to economies of scale. Could this be replicated or utilised in the motorcycle industry? Only time will tell.
For the moment, there aren’t very many charging points for electric motorcycles and the cost of the motorcycles themselves can be quite steep for what you are getting, with the BMW C Evolution Scooter retailing at upwards of £14,000! These prices will eventually reduce when more people switch to electric and the cost of production can reduce, but for now it is just too costly to buy the bike and charging points needed. There are some helpful government grants out there for those that like the idea of an electric motorcycle though.
The biggest complaint we hear time and time again when discussing electric motorcycles is that there is simply no noise. Whether you like the grumble of a big V-Twin or the roar of an Inline-4, every biker can agree – bikes sound awesome!
With cost, efficiency, questionable range, speed and noise all being up for debate – there are too many question marks and unknowns behind electric motorcycles for the time being. However, hopefully not too far in the future the issues will be ironed out and the electric motorcycle industry will boom – with some fantastic technology, reliability and ease of access for those of us on a budget! Although it would seem – at least for now – that the infrastructure isn’t quite there yet.
Do you have an electric motorcycle? If not, would you buy one? Let us know in the comments!