Electric motorcycles boom last year


BANGKOK — The number of registered electric motorcycles in Thailand soared by 12 times to 5,020 last year.

The Next Generation Automotive Research Center reported that the registered electric motorcycles comprised 4,229 hybrid electric vehicles and 791 battery electric vehicles.

In December last year 305 HEV motorcycles and 57 BEV motorcycles were registered thanks to special promotions for teachers from a maker.

In December last year motorcycle production in Thailand rose by 7% year on year due to the production of commuter motorcycles and sports motorcycles with engine capacities of over 400cc which rose near the end of last year

On a yearly basis, motorcycle production was lower than expected and motorcycle sales dropped by 17% because drought weakened farmers’ purchasing power. The decline was obvious with commuter motorcycles. Meanwhile, the sales of motorcycles with engine capacities of 251-399cc were growing steadily as they were gaining popularity among buyers.

Motorcycle exports by volume declined by 3% from the previous year because exporters shifted from small motorcycles to big ones. Their exports by value almost doubled.

Last year motorcycle production fell by 6% to 1.95 million. Local sales dropped 4% to 1.72 million. Export volume decreased 2% to 364,050 units but value rose 26% to US$1.7 billion.

The Federation of Thai Industries predicted motorcycle production would reach 2.1 million this year, rising by 8%. Local sales were estimated at 1.7 million units, down 1% due to economic problems, and exports should go up by 10% to 400,000 units thanks to the popularity of big bikes.