Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: May 25, 2023
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By Mobility Portal
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Decline in electric motorcycle sales: What are the factors behind the crisis?

ANESDOR talks to Mobility Portal, analyzing how the electric motorcycle market will continue in 2023, where it has already experienced a 30% drop compared to the previous year.

The electric motorcycle market continues to show negative results. Sales figures for April showed a decline of 28.6% compared to the cumulative total from January to April 2022.

The market for electric motorcycles and light vehicles does not have a historical volume or sufficient data to make precise forecasts. However, based on recent trends, everything suggested that it would continue to grow more than the overall market.

Last year, electric motorcycles grew by over 30%, much more than the 4.6% growth of the motorcycle market as a whole.

“We have been surprised by the negative start of 2023. In the first four months, the overall market has grown by 8.8%, while the electric market has declined by 29%,” expresses José María Riaño, Secretary-General of the Association of Two-Wheeled Vehicle Companies (ANESDOR).

José María Riaño, Secretary-General of the Association of Two-Wheeled Vehicle Companies (ANESDOR).
José María Riaño, Secretary-General of the Association of Two-Wheeled Vehicle Companies (ANESDOR).

The only positive aspect has been that in the last month, the decline has been more moderate: 9.2%.

Looking at specific data, the rental channel for electric motorcycles has declined. It is an irregular segment that depends on fleet renewals.

However, this channel only represents 20% of the total market. The business channel, which accounts for another 30% of the total, has not declined.

“What is most concerning is the decline in the private channel,” says the Secretary-General.

It has dropped by 20%, and the association cannot find a reason since the environmental conditions have not changed. It is primarily a scooter market, and in general, scooters are performing very well in 2023.

Reasons for the decline of the electric motorcycle

“The Moves III does not seem to be the reason for the decline of the electric motorcycle, as the opportunities are the same as last year when we were growing,” Riaño points out.

But he warns: “In any case, it doesn’t help the market much either. The division into different regional plans and the bureaucracy of the plan do not allow the available budget to be well utilized.”

He then highlights a series of measures that would make the market rebound:

  • Correct the incentive framework to truly influence customer purchasing decisions.
  • Improve the charging infrastructure, as not all motorcycles have removable batteries and cannot always be charged at home.

Emphasize: “If the deployment is insufficient for cars, it is even more so for motorcycles.”

There are few interoperable charging points (compatible with motorcycles), and points for Schuko-type connectors, which are very common in small motorcycles, are not being planned.

“In general, we must not forget the specificities of electric motorcycles and light vehicles in electrification policies because they are strategic vehicles in the new mobility,” says the secretary of the two-wheeled association.

Despite the decline, there is a positive outlook and they are confident that there will be a change in trend, and the more moderate decline in April will lead to positive data, which was expected for this year. “It’s difficult to predict.”

2023 figures

Electric motorcycle registrations stood at 832 units in April, representing a 9.6% decline compared to the same month the previous year.

However, they also show a slight recovery compared to March sales (763), with an 8.2% increase. Thus, the data appears encouraging for a sector hit hard in 2023, aiming for 2,506 units of electric motorcycles registered.

On the other hand, electric moped registrations recorded a 29.9% decline last month, with a total of 279 units. Until April, they fell by 42.6%, reaching 1,016 units.

The numbers in January were alarming for the electric two-wheeler industry, with sales dropping by 47% compared to December. Electric motorcycle registrations stood at 563 units.

Sales in February were at 549 units, representing a 6.8% increase compared to January.

After a year of recovering pre-pandemic figures and even surpassing them, the electric motorcycle sector has now seen four consecutive months of negative results. From being the electric vehicle with the highest market share, it now ranks second behind cars.

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