Taiwan’s largest motorcycle maker, Kwang Yang Motor Co (KYMCO, 光陽工業), is expecting “green bikes” to gain in sales momentum over the next three years, as European and Taiwanese riders opt for newer models that cut down on carbon dioxide emissions.
Sales of green bikes to -Europe and Taiwan — its two largest markets — are forecast to hit 58,500 units in 2013, more than double next year’s targeted sales of 20,800 units, company manager Chuang Chai-cheng (莊家政) said.
Translated into dollar terms, green vehicles would generate sales of NT$298.8 million (US$9.9 million) in 2013, up from next year’s NT$103.6 million, he said.
“There is still some work to do to educate the market on the benefits of green bikes in Taiwan. We have seen a quicker uptake of such vehicles in Europe,” he told reporters during a tour of its Kaohsiung factory site last week.
These so-called green vehicles refer to electric vehicles (powered by a lithium-ion battery instead of gas), hybrid electric -vehicles (powered by both gas and battery) and mobility scooters (battery-powered wheelchair-like models).
KYMCO, which set up its first research lab in 1978, is set to dedicate more research and development to green scooters in the future to keep abreast of market trends, Chuang said.
The maker has been channeling at least NT$1 billion every year for the past 10 years into research and development.
Last year’s research and -development budget was NT$1.47 billion, while those of 2008 and 2007 were NT$1.61 billion and NT$1.48 billion respectively, the company’s data shows.
To date, there have been six green bikes from five manufacturers eligible for NT$8,000 or NT$11,000 in cash rebates by the government, which has been pushing for the local adoption of electric motorcycles and automobiles since last year.
The six models are EA1LU from Sanyang Industry Co (三陽工業), EV3A developed by E-Ton Power Tech Co (益通動能科技), EA10BB from KYMCO, EM198 and EM1A6 from China Motors Corp (中華汽車) and EVT-4000E-BLM1 from EVT Technology Co (易維特科技).
The Ministry of Economic Affairs last week said that it was reviewing new electric vehicles submitted by Yamaha Taiwan Motor Co (台灣山葉), Kentfa Advanced Technology Corp (見發先進科技) and Meibruce Corp (美博士電能科技) to see if they would qualify for the cash rebates.