What is Role of Governments in Asia-Pacific Electric Scooters and Motorcycles Market Growth?

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With more than 2.3 billion city dwellers, Asia-Pacific (APAC), for the first time in 2019, became a region with the majority of its population living in urban areas, as per the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). As an increasing number of people are migrating to cities, the demand for urban transportation modes is also rising. This had led to an enormous surge in the sale of automobiles in the region in the last 10–15 years. Consequently, the level of toxic gases in the air has also grown, due to the combustion of gasoline and diesel in vehicles.

Therefore, numerous governments in the region are offering their support, in the form of subsidies and incentives, to those who purchase electric vehicles (EVs) as well as those who manufacture them. As a result, the APAC electric scooters and motorcycles market is projected to see its sales volume increase to 31.2 million units by 2025, at a 7.6% CAGR during 2018–2025. As such automobiles do not burn any fossil fuel, rather are powered purely by an electric motor and battery, they result in close to no operational emissions.

Apart from the issue of air pollution, another factor working in the favor of such EVs is the constant rise in the price of crude oil, which is, in turn, making diesel and gasoline dearer to the masses. This is also making countries rethink their economic strategy, as the trade of crude oil currently decides the fate of most countries. This is why governments in the region are coming up with strict emission-regulation policies, such as the Bharat State VI norms, to make conventional vehicles more fuel-efficient. In addition, to achieve the eventual phasing-out of such automobiles, numerous countries in the region are promoting EVs.

Both these types of discharged batteries in an electric scooter or motorcycle can either be directly plugged-in to a power socket or swapped with a charged one. Of these, such EVs with the plug-in technology are more popular in APAC, as they offer vehicle owners higher ease of use, who simply have to connect the power cord leading from the battery to a domestic plug point. In addition, the EV battery swapping infrastructure here is rather under-developed, which is why, even in the coming years, plug-in electric motorcycles and scooters will witness higher sales than the battery variants.

China is currently the largest electric scooters and motorcycles market in APAC, especially as a result of the $10,000 subsidy the government began offering in 2017 on every EV purchase. Due to its high level of urbanization and industrialization, China is one of the most polluted nations on earth, which is why the focus on reducing the emissions is particularly high here. In the coming years, a rapid rise in the uptake of electric motorcycles and scooters in the region would be witnessed in India, powered by the national government’s $1,460 million (INR 10,000 crore) investment for EV purchase as well as targets to install 2,700 charging stations in major cities by 2023.

Therefore, with extensive government support, in the wake of the degrading air quality, the uptake of electric scooters and motorcycles will continue increasing in APAC.

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