If there’s one thing I hate, it’s waking up to news of increased fuel prices yet again. Here in Manila, gasoline prices have gone up to a fever pitch. In fact, we haven’t seen fuel prices this high in nearly a decade. For reference, a liter of premium gasoline can set you back more than PHP 55, or the equivalent of $1.20 USD. This time last year, it was at around PHP 42, or around $0.80 USD.
Turns out the entire Asia-Pacific region has been on the receiving end of rising fuel prices over the past couple of months, thanks to a number of variables from both the global and regional oil markets. The result? Less cars on the road, and more e-bikes, electric scooters and motorcycles. Unsurprisingly, multiple sources report an increase in sales of electric motorcycles thanks to rising fuel prices. For instance, our colleagues at Indian automotive publication, Shifting Gears, have cited that Okinawa, one of India’s up-and-coming electric two-wheel makers has seen a 30-percent spike in sales, largely in part due to rising fuel prices.
I’m pretty sure that the notion of relying solely on small-capacity electric two-wheeled vehicles seems like a forlorn thought for you folks stateside. However, given the tightly knit urban environment in most Southeast Asian countries, citizens can get by with staying within the vicinity of their respective cities. As such, zippy little electric two-wheelers just make sense. Prior to the boom of electrification, the most common vehicles on the streets were mopeds and scooters with displacements no larger than 125cc.
Despite many people frowning upon the electrification of motorcycles, this is the inevitable direction that our beloved steeds our taking. It’s interesting to note, too, that younger riders in fact prefer electric vehicles. This goes beyond the Asian market, too, as a recent report suggests that younger U.K. riders actually prefer electric motorcycles, as opposed to their dinosaur-burning steeds. Now, I’m not exactly an advocate for electric motorcycles, in fact all the motorcycles in my stable run on the million-year-old corpses of dinosaurs, but it’s interesting to see just what the future of electric mobility has in store for all of us.