Three e-mobility startups are accelerating into the U.S. motorcycle market.
Italy’s Energica and California based Alta Motors and Zero Motorcycles have revved up promotion, distribution, and sales.
You may see their machines zip by on American roads before the big two-wheel gas powered companies get EVs to showroom floors.
These startups could reboot U.S. motorcycle sales while shifting the global motorcycle industry toward electric.
Since the recession, America’s motorcycle sector has been in the doldrums. New bike sales have dropped roughly 50 percent since 2008—with sharp declines in ownership by everyone under 40. [Chart: MOTOSALES] Most of the market is now aging baby-boomers, whose “Live to Ride” days are winding down.
Two bright spots in the space are women and resales. Females are one of the few growing U.S. ownership market segments. And per an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study, total motorcycles on the road actually increased from 2008 to 2017, though nearly 75 percent of registrations are for bikes over 7 years old.
So Americans are buying motorcycles, but for some reason not choosing new ones.
On the e-moto front, two-wheel gas manufacturers have mostly stagnated around EV concepts. None of the big names—Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, BMW—offer a production electric street motorcycle in the U.S.
Harley Davidson jolted the industry in February by committing to produce an EV for sale by August 2019.
On U.S. e-motorcycle sales, Global Market Insights (GMI) recently tallied 2017 combined American e-scooter and moto sales at 245K units worth $155M. Following worldwide trends, GMI projects that to grow to 598K and $304M by 2024, with the share of U.S. e-motorcycles to scooters increasing.
The startups and motorcycles