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Taiwan’s Electric Motorcycle Sales Peaked Despite Continued Subsidies

Motorcycle sales in Taiwan (TTVMA member companies only) were strong at 663,628 units, an increase of 16.9% year-on-year from January to October 2023, but sales of BEV motorcycles decreased by 1.9% to 66,001 units. The BEV ratio in motorcycle sales was 12.2% in 2022. Meanwhile, in the first 10 months of 2023, it was 9.9%. Sales of BEV motorcycles rapidly increased to 168,537 units in 2019, and the BEV ratio rose to 18.7%, but since then sales have remained in the 80,000-90,000 unit-range per year, with BEV ratio around 10%-12%.

In Taiwan, the central government and local governments continue to provide subsidies for the purchase of BEV motorcycles. In 2023 a combined total of 19,000 TWD was provided per motorcycle, consisting of 7,000 TWD from the Industrial Development Administration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and 12,000 TWD from local environmental conservation bureaus. When scrapping a motorcycle equipped with a gasoline engine, the subsidy amount is increased to 28,300 TWD. Under these circumstances, Gogoro, which accounts for 70% of electric motorcycle sales, has launched a new full-fledged leisure model, the CrossOver, which can also be ridden off-road, in addition to updated models of the SuperSport and Delight. Although sales promotion activities such as the zero-interest rate campaign are being carried out by Gogoro, sales from January to October 2023 were sluggish at 46,648 units, down 13.3% from the same period last year, and the company’s sales share of BEV motorcycles decreased by 9.2 points to 70.7%

Gogoro’s dull sales are due to the high usage fees and declining convenience of the Gogoro Network, a battery exchange system that has become the de facto standard in Taiwan. There are seven types of monthly battery charge plans, which users can choose based on monthly mileage and usage. However, the cost per kilometer traveled is 1.29 to 3.01 TWD/km, excluding the 0.60 TWD/km of the high usage plan. Compared to 0.62 TWD/km of a gasoline engine scooter with a fuel efficiency of 50km/L, the price is more than twice as high. In addition, when battery replacements are concentrated in certain areas and at certain times, some users who need a charged battery may not be able to locate one. Gogoro has installed 2,580 stations and 12,464 racks (8 or 10 battery slots) in Taiwan but is faced with the challenge of eliminating regional and time differences in the demand for battery replacement, which exceeds 400,000 times per day.

Meanwhile, KYMCO, which operates its own battery exchange system iONEX, has expanded the number of stations to more than 2,600 and newly introduced the i-One, Super 6, and Super 7 models. It sold 11,630 units from January to October 2023, rapidly increasing its BEV share from 8.3% in 2022 to 17.6%.

Graph: Taiwan: Sales Volume of BEV Motorcycles and BEV Ratio in Motorcycle Sales (2018-2022, YTD Oct. 2022 / 2023)Graph: Taiwan: Sales Share by BEV Motorcycles by Manufacturer (YTD Oct. 2023)
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