According to a new study entitled “Electric Two-Wheel Vehicles”, cleantech market intelligence company Pike Research is forecasting that more than 466 million electric bicycles and motorcycles will be sold worldwide during the period from 2010 to 2016. Given that the annual global motorcycle market is currently around 80 million units a year, almost all of them based on the internal combustion engine, this anticipated explosion in electric bike demand could double the size of the two wheeled market, not to mention dampen the demand for electric four-wheelers.

Pike Research expects electric bicycles will be the largest category with 56% of the electric two wheel market, followed by e-motorcycles at 43% and e-scooters in a distant third place with less than 1%.

Pike Research forecasts that more than 466 million e-bikes, e-motorcycles, and e-scooters will be sold worldwide during the period from 2010 to 2016.

“Demographics and economics are aligning to create a strong market opportunity for two-wheel electric vehicles,” says industry analyst Dave Hurst. “In some countries, these vehicles will be engines of economic growth, while in others they will be signals of broader consumer behavioral shifts.”

Hurst adds that Asia Pacific in general, and China in particular, will dominate the global electric two-wheel vehicle market, representing more than 95% of sales during the next six years.

According to Pike Research’s analysis, one of the most important market barriers is the lack of established distribution channels for the vehicles. Many manufacturers are working diligently to find a combination of independent dealers, mass retailers, and online sales that will effectively deliver the vehicles and after-sales service to customers.