market dynamics
Motorbikes going electric? How to solve the battery cost dilemma?
Release date:2022.11.10

In the era of passenger cars racing to become electric, motorcycles are also starting to lose speed on the way to electrification.

It was learned in the interview that electrification has become a new power point for motorcycle enterprises. At the 20th China International Motorcycle Expo held in Chongqing recently, many manufacturers released futuristic and tech-oriented electric motorcycles, and more startups focusing on electric emerged.

From the consumer end, it remains to be seen whether the electric motorcycle can occupy a dominant position in the market, but it is certain that "conversion to electricity" has become a trend force that cannot be ignored in the development of the industry. Upstream and downstream companies in the industry chain are also rubbing their hands and looking for opportunities on this new track.

01 Motorcycle enterprises actively "electric shock"

"The motorcycle is actually electric and can be 'played' without fuel." In front of a new car with the appearance of a fake fuel motorcycle, an overseas motorcycle enterprise staff introduced to reporters.

The word "play" points out the biggest difference between electric motorcycles and the "little electric donkeys" traveling around the city - the purpose of use is different. A brand leader of a start-up motorcycle company said that electric motorcycles cannot get road licenses in most cities and are mainly for entertainment.

According to Longxin GM domestic marketing center assistant general manager Zhang Yongjie introduced, motorcycle level electric vehicle standard saying is "electric motorcycle", in essence is the motorized motorcycle; Commuting donkeys are mostly "electric bikes", which are essentially electric bikes. The two belong to two big categories, there are huge differences in laws and regulations, industry standards and technical paths.

Big toys equipped with batteries have become the latest trend in the motorcycle industry. BMW, Longxin and other old car companies have brought new electric models to the expo, Duffin riding, yttrium Power, outside and other electric up-and-comers in front of the booth was also crowded.

Several car companies have announced ambitious plans to go electric. Honda, the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer, recently announced its "decarbonization strategy" : by 2030, Honda will replace 3.5 million gas-powered motorcycles, equivalent to 15% of its global sales, with pure electric motorcycles. By the mid-2040s, Honda will stop production of two-wheeled gasoline cars and convert new cars to pure electric (EV) motorcycles.

BMW also said that from 2030, the BMW motorcycle urban mobility series will be fully electric.

Among domestic enterprises, Chunfeng Power, Longxin GM, Qianjiang Motorcycle and many other car enterprises also have similar actions, or release new products in the field of electric, or incubate electricized sub-brands, such as Chunfeng Power's "Pole core", Longxin GM's "Yin Wei" and so on.


02New consumption trends drive

"The electric motorcycle market has a huge prospect and is full of challenges, worthy of enterprises' strong investment." Longxin GM executive deputy general manager Gong Hui said.

Talking about the reasons for electric transformation, Gong Hui believes that the current motorcycle industry is also taking "dual carbon" as the development direction and goal. This involves two aspects: one is to continuously improve the energy efficiency of the traditional fuel motorcycle; The second is to combine the new energy trend of vehicles with electrification.

Nowadays, urban motorcycle consumption is mainly driven by users' interests and hobbies. Gong Hui's team found that electric motorcycle consumers can be divided into two categories: one is upgraded from electric bikes, they are about 30 to 40 years old, and pursue safety, performance and intelligence; The other is mostly the post-00s, whose growth is inseparable from the electronization, technology and intelligence.

The pursuit of exclusive experience is also one of the reasons for consumers to try electric motorcycles. What is the experience of a gasoline-powered motorcycle with its pulsating engine roar? Duffin, who won the "motorcycle Unicorn" title at the venture capital Circle last year, has his answer. Company officials told reporters that the electric motorcycle has a unique electric flu and a sense of the future, which young consumers have more eyes.

In addition, intelligence also provides a boost to the electric transformation of motorcycles. A professional analysis said that many motorcycle manufacturers are doing smart travel to bring more value increment, and intelligence and electrification actually complement and cooperate with each other.

03Battery cost conundrum to be solved

Electric vehicles have gradually changed from policy driven to market driven, and the technology accumulation and trial and error experience in the road of automobile electrification also have reference value for the motorcycle industry.

Similar to electric cars, batteries play an important role in the manufacturing of electric motorcycles, and listed companies in the lithium sector are also eyeing the motorcycle conversion market. For example, Boliway has recently increased the layout of high-speed electric bicycles and launched lithium batteries for high-speed electric bicycles to help fuel vehicle enterprises transform into electric vehicles and quickly realize the landing of fuel motorcycle electric bicycles.

The company is also a pioneer in the field of motorcycle batteries. Since 2011, Funeng Technology has been invested in the high-end electric motorcycle market, and has become the core strategic partner of foreign high-end electric motorcycle brand ZERO. At present, it has cooperated with Chunfeng, Qiu Long, Qianjiang and other Oems.

Fuhneng believes that the future motorcycle market will be rapidly electric, the demand for batteries is high, so the company is very important to this market. The motorcycle business of the company has been growing steadily in recent years. In 2021, the company set up a separate business division for the motorcycle business division. The absolute focus of the company at the moment is definitely the automotive division, but the two-wheeler division is also a focus of the company in the future.

It is worth noting that while the high price of lithium has made the car industry troubled, it has also had a great impact on the motorcycle industry.

For the use of price linkage battery enterprises, the price of raw materials can be transmitted down the trend. The relevant person in charge of Fu Neng technology introduced that the price of the company's power battery is linked according to the price of upstream raw materials. As the price of lithium rises, the factory price of Fu Neng technology's power battery will also rise.

But as the last link motorcycle enterprises are difficult to avoid this problem. Yttrium power engineer Gu Liyang told reporters that according to different models, the battery in the vehicle cost accounted for from the original 30%, rose to the highest 60%. Zhang Yongjie told reporters, relative to the same performance of the fuel car, tram direct production cost is 30% to 50% more expensive than oil cars.

As with electric cars, the key is self-developed core components. The above-mentioned person in charge of Dafen riding revealed that the three electric system and other core components are independently developed, subject to small upstream fluctuations.

Besides cost, motorbikes will have to overcome other obstacles. According to Zhang Yongjie, the power core technology of trams has changed from the engine to the three-electric system, which puts forward higher requirements on the magnitude of investment capital. In addition, the development of electric motorcycles is also affected by national and local industrial policies, charging infrastructure construction and other factors. If the reference to the new energy vehicle license management, consumer demand and production enterprises will be safer, more environmentally friendly, more efficient new energy motorcycle transfer.

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