Brace Yourself for 138 Million Electric Motorcycles

A new report predicts that the market for electric motorcycles and scooters is about to explode. Get ready for the Mad Maxification of America.

With gas prices pushing $5 per gallon in some parts of the country, there's lots of talk about plug-in electric and hybrid cars. The high-end Tesla Roadster, the Nissan Leaf, and the Chevy Volt have all been covered (and promoted) pretty extensively.

But what if the future belongs instead to the electric motorcycle? A new report by Pike Research, a clean technology consulting firm, predicts that the number of electric motorcycles and scooters will skyrocket from 17 million today to 138 million by 2017. And not all of that growth will come from China. The report predicts that electric motorcycles, in particular, will be popular in North America.

Dave Hurst, a senior analyst at Pike, explained the benefits of electric motorcycles and scooters in a press release, saying, "They are relatively low cost to own, do not take a lot of space, and are easy to maintain, therefore making them attractive for city dwellers." And, unlike an electric car, you could conceivably charge an electric scooter in your back yard. Don't want to wait six years? The Sora, a new electric bike being developed by Lito Green Motion, looks incredibly fun. At $43,000, it's anything but "low cost," but we're assuming prices come down by 2017.