The electric scooter market

The Sunra BY-VC from Xinri

The Sunra BY-VC from Xinri

Several manufacturers from different countries are trying to popularize the electric scooter, while the big Japanese and European makers of gas-powered scooters are sitting on the fence, waiting…

Scooters are the perfect transportation for short distance commutes and urban living.  With the engine placed on their rear axle and with their bodywork that conceals all the mechanicals, they seem ideal for an electric motorization.

The Lightning, from VMoto

The Lightning, from VMoto

Scooters are very popular in Europe and in Asia, not so much in America. According to Navigant Research, only 2000 electric motorcycles and scooters combined were sold in the USA in 2012. For 2013, Navigant Research estimates that 12 million e-scooters were sold all over the world. In China alone, 9.4 million were sold, and only 31,338 outside the Asia-Pacific region.

In China, electric scooters equipped with lead-acid batteries are competitively priced with gas scooters. Not so in the rest of the world, where most modern electric scooters have lithium batteries and are much more expensive than the gas-powered ones.

The A4000i from Terra Motors

The A4000i from Terra Motors

Modern electric scooters are mostly from the 50cc-equivalent category. They have usually a 3 kW electric motor and a 2 kWh lithium battery, which gives them a max range of around 50 miles and a top speed of 30 mph. Cost: around $5,000

e-Virid from SYM

e-Virid from SYM

The 125cc-equivalent category is growing slowly. They usually have a 3 or 4 kWh lithium battery and a 7 kW electric motor. Their range is about 50 miles, with a top speed of 50 mph. Cost: over $8,000

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 9.06.39 PM

Who is leading this new market? If you believe Navigant Research, it is the Chinese Jiangsu Xinri E-Vehicle Co., ahead of the Australian firm VMoto, the Japanese Terra Motors, the Taiwanese SYM Motors and the German Govecs. Sadly, the only American company on the list, Vectrix, is no longer. There are a few smaller American firms left that mostly import models from China.

The Go!S3.4 from Govecs

The Go!S3.4 from Govecs

The well-known gas scooter makers like Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Piaggio have all presented several electric scooters at trade shows, but with no firm distribution date. Honda and Suzuki have even shown fuel cell powered scooters… What are they waiting for?

This category of electric vehicles has a huge potential here in America. But we need a leading manufacturer, with great products and great marketing. Please Tesla, can you make scooters?

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8 comments for this post
  1. Ryssen wrote the 10/02/2014


    and for urban citizen, who don’t want to spend money on gaz, don’t want to let the scooter outside ready for stealers, and want to go on vacation with….

    …. the XO2 is a French electric scooter that can be folded, go very quickly, 100km autonomy etc…

  2. JP DARWIN, the author of the post, wrote the 11/02/2014

    Yes the XO2 is a great concept, but it is has been announced for several years now, and it is still not being commercialized.

  3. David William wrote the 20/07/2014

    Hello please Confirm if you have this unit

    Yuasa GYZ Factory Activated AGM High Performance Battery

    Antigravity YTX12 12-Cell 360CA Lithium Ion Battery

    Shorai LFX Batteries – LFX24A3-BS12

    Shorai LFX Batteries – LFX14A1-BS12

    Antigravity YTZ7-S 8-Cell 240CA Lithium Ion Battery

    Antigravity YT12BS 12-Cell 360CA Lithium Ion Battery

    Ballistic Performance 12 Cell EVO2 Battery

    Sealed Lead Acid Battery OR AGM Battery

    12volt100 ah,12volt 250 ah

    Advise stock, unit cost


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    Best regards

  4. Ecomike wrote the 23/06/2015

    Mantra Energy has a new generation of liquid fuel cell that uses a non flammable liquid fuel made from CO2 (electrochemical reactor) and they just demoed a first ever e-scooter running on these.

  5. Yasuhisa Hirota wrote the 10/04/2016

    Yasuhisa (Tony ) Hirota. I’m Looking for Made in america Electric ( Scooter ) Bike.

Reply to Ecomike