Gas-Powered Scooter Sales Decline, Electric Bikes and Motorcycles Sales Go Up

The sales of gas-powered scooters and motorcycles in Europe declined by 6.1% in the first quarter of 2018, with small-displacement two-wheelers taking the biggest hit. Customers bought 40.2% fewer small commuters in Q1 2018, and France, arguably the biggest market for these machines, recorded a drop of no less than 41.5% in registrations.

Other European countries famed for their appetency for mopeds and small-displacement scooters, such as Holland, Italy, Belgium and Spain also recorded double-digit decline in sales.

It appears that electric scooters, mopeds, bicycles and motorcycles are the cause for the drop across Europe, as sales for EVs soared a whopping 51.2%. Still referring to France, that market also recorded the biggest increase in sales of electric motorcycles. The French riders bought 228% more electric motorcycles compared to last year, helping the overall European market grow by 118.5% in this segment.

The sub-50cc scooter market decline can also be attributed to the increasing performance and availability of electric bicycles, coupled with decreasing prices. Europeans are well-known for the fact that they choose two-wheeled commuting over driving their cars in the urban clutter. However, while riding a gas-powered scooter requires licensing, insurance, regular technical inspections and even parking permits, pedelecs do not.

Even more, the recent electric bicycles seem to be nearly as capable as sub-50cc mopeds in terms of speed and even range, while also allowing their riders to access zones that are restricted to other types of two-wheelers, making commuting, shopping and even leisure more rewarding and efficient.

With legendary scooter manufacturers such as Vespa showing their first electric machine last autumn, it’s easy to figure out that the tracks are laid for the large-scale advent of EVs in the two-wheeled world. State incentives upon purchase of electric two-wheelers and tax exempts are also causing more customers to go for EVs than for gas-powered small scooters.

Still heavily outnumbered by internal combustion engine machines, electric two-wheelers are catching up faster and faster, with electric bicycles estimated to sell around 2 million units in 2018 in 2018. For measure, in Germany alone, more than 720,000 units were sold last year.

Any guesstimates as to when the sales of electric motorcycles will rival the gas-powered machines, anyone?

Read more: 

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Best commuter motorcycles for 2018

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One thought on “Gas-Powered Scooter Sales Decline, Electric Bikes and Motorcycles Sales Go Up

  1. you live in San Francisco, you can look out your window to see dozens of people zooming by on electric scooters. Over the last year, the usage of these motorized scooters to get around the city has exploded with their ability to go 30 mph coupled with a riding range of 20 miles, making these scooters ideal for commuters and weekend warriors. However, with the increase in ridership comes an increase in scooter-related injuries.

    Over the last five years, scooter-related injuries resulting in hospitalization have more than tripled nationwide. Recently, I had a patient who can be described as your typical “Tech” worker who had a fall off of a Scoot in the most “San Francisco” of ways.

    Our patient was commuting to work on his Scoot when the car he was following came to a stop in the right lane. The patient noticed the stop and decided to whip around the car on the right side in the bike lane. What our patient didn’t notice was that this car was an Uber. As he began to pass the car on the right, the Uber passenger opened the door and struck our patient. When our patient was struck he fell off his scoot and onto a parked Tesla! Thus sustaining a clavicle fracture from the trauma of the incident. Does it get any more San Francisco than that?!

    Dr. Sara Edwards a local, prominent orthopedic surgeon and Therapydia referral source has seen a recent uptick in Scooter injuries in her practice that correlates with the increase in ridership. According to Dr. Edwards, most of the scooter injuries that she sees occur in the extremities including shoulder, wrist, ankle and knee bone fractures, along with soft tissue injuries that usually require surgery. Head injuries are of concern as well due to riders not wearing helmets during shorter rides. Dr. Edwards has also observed many injuries that occur due to scoot riders scooting while intoxicated.

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