With a paradigm shift towards sustainable and fuel-efficient systems, the world is eyeing electric powersports vehicles to fulfill its recreational needs. Vehicle manufacturers worldwide are leveraging the mushrooming trends to consolidate a stronger industry presence and enhance access to highly advanced yet affordable motorsport products. As economies strengthen tourism, the deployment of e-bikes, electrically-powered motorcycles, ATVs and watercraft is likely to experience a notable rise over the coming decade.
Powersports vehicles similar to automobiles produce a massive carbon footprint owing to their dependence on conventional fuel sources. However, this scenario has started to change with a steady influx of sustainable fuel alternatives and the electrification of powersports vehicles. Both manufacturers as well as consumers are showcasing more interest in electric products, primarily due to the push from multiple governments encouraging consumers to dump aging technologies.
In December 2022, the European Commission ratified Germany’s electric vehicle (EV) charging scheme worth more than $1.9 billion USD to accelerate the adoption of electric mobility. Similar funding and incentives are being introduced by different countries to improve access to fast charging points, enabling motorists to go on longer trips.
Propelled by the growing emphasis on clean motorsport technologies and the growing government support, the electric power sports market size is anticipated to exceed an annual valuation of $800 million USD by 2030, according to Global Market Insights Inc.
Trends Expected to Boost Industry Growth in 2023 and Beyond
Electric ATVs and UTVs
Electric ATVs and UTVs are expected to become mainstream vehicles across applications such as recreational activities, sports, agriculture, warehousing, defense and shipping operations. While that may still take a while, electric ATVs have been successful in securing promising traction owing to their advanced vehicle battery technologies. The introduction of innovative and cutting-edge EV drivetrains will spur the production of electric ATVs and UTVs.
- In agriculture: Electric ATVs and UTVs can be deployed in farms for plowing, cleaning, harrowing, mowing weeds, feeding livestock, and transportation of supplies and heavy goods. They have a relatively lower environmental impact and allow farmers to cut down their fuel consumption.
- In adventure sports: Developing countries such as India are experiencing a significant growth in public interest in intense sports activities and off-roading events. Countries with massive riding communities have become the key hubs for electric ATV manufacturers. In August 2022, Polaris India rolled out a new flagship RZR (R) Pro R Sport ATV model for off-road adventures.
- In military: Electric ATVs and UTVs are playing a crucial role in the space of military and defense for logistics and border patrolling in harsh weather conditions. They are also helpful to tread on narrow pathways or uphill in extreme off-road terrain. Today, all eyes are on hybrid ATVs in the midst of growing geopolitical tensions since they can help conduct stealthy military operations.
Powersports manufacturers are bullish on electric snowmobiles, primarily due to the growing interest in recreational sports activities. In addition to that, several nations with robust tourism are further implementing favorable policies and funds to strengthen the associated infrastructure. For instance, in April 2022, the local government in Quebec, Canada, announced plans to infuse $11 million USD in alpine resorts to facilitate services such as mountain biking, hiking and others for a yearround business.
Following this, several electric power sports vehicle manufacturers have stood up to this and many similar opportunities to distribute novel product offerings. In May 2022, Taiga Motors Corporation delivered its Nomad snowmobiles to Sépaq, the agency of the Government of Québec responsible for managing wildlife reserves and amusement parks. Besides adventure sports and tourism, electric snowmobiles are extremely important to maintain day-to-day operations across infrastructures situated in extreme weather conditions.
High-Speed Electric Cruiser Motorcycles
The rider community loves a good cruiser bike. However, the fuel economy associated with these vehicles is not exactly ideal. Hence, to minimize fuel consumption and still enjoy long-distance travel, riders are switching to high-speed electric cruiser motorcycles or bikes with electronic cruiser controls that can help curb fuel consumption. In September 2022, Zero Motorcycles launched its new electric adventure motorcycle DSR/X in Sicily, Italy, as a part of its 2023 model year lineup, realizing the increasing preference for dual-sports bikes in Europe.
Meanwhile, Harley Davidson-owned LiveWire will commence deliveries of its all-electric S2 Del Mar motorcycle in March 2023. Motorcycle companies across the globe are foraying into the electrification movement, helping nations achieve their ambitious zero-emission targets. Electric bikes are far more fuel-efficient than gas-powered motorcycles, require much less maintenance, produce greater torque than internal-combustion engines and limit noise pollution.
Related: The Future of Motorcycling: ICE vs. EV
North America’s Key Role in the Future of Electric Powersports
The U.S. and Canada are likely to emerge as a hub for e-powersports thanks to the ongoing advancements in vehicle battery technologies. These countries also have a rich footprint of some of the largest powersports vehicle manufacturers spearheading innovation. For instance, Canadian startup company Daymak Inc. introduced an electric vehicle that can function as both an e-snowmobile and an e-bike for off-road activities.
After graduating with a specialization in food biotechnology, Jayee Sapatnekar expressed a degree of interest in content writing and marketing. To that end, she is pursuing her passion for content creation by curating scientific as well as non-scientific articles for numerous industries. Apart from this, Jayee is an artist at core who loves to indulge in music and art.