11 Mar 24

The Growing Dominance of Two- and Three-wheelers

When examining the global OEM marketplace, it’s crucial to acknowledge that four wheels are not always the best. In many regions, such as APAC, LatAm, and Africa, two- and three-wheelers (2W and 3W) prevail due to affordability, manoeuvrability, and fuel efficiency.

Asia dominates in terms of numbers

In APAC, 2W are the reigning mode of transport. In 2020, more than 80% of travel demand was met in Vietnam by the country’s 65.2m registered 2W. Although popular in Asia, 3W (rickshaws, tuk-tuks and cargo bikes) comprise less than 1% of the fleet. 

Source: International Council on Clean Transport

The market share of e2W in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines is less than 1.5%. In Vietnam, however, that figure rises to 8.5%. Honda and Yamaha are the leading brands. Yadea and NIU are leading the market share in the e2W sector. Local brands, Gesits and VinFast, dominate in Indonesia and Vietnam. VinFast’s Klara S scooter starts at around $3,500 and offers a range of up to 90 km. 

LatAm leads in growth

The 2W market in LatAm stands at just under 11m units but is expected to rise to almost 30m by 2028. Brazil has the most registered 2W, and they are popular in Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Chile. The most favoured brands include Bajaj, Honda and Kawasaki. Home-grown players are now gaining traction in the e2W market. These include Voltz Motors, based in Brazil; Niu Technologies - a global company based in China offering a range of smart electric scooters; and Lucky Lion - an Argentine company offering electric bikes and scooters focused on sustainable urban mobility within the Latin American market.

Source: Voltz Motorcycles (Brazil)

The greatest number in commercial use

Due to rapid urbanisation and population growth, an estimated 27 million two-wheelers are registered in Africa, 80% of which are used commercially as taxis and/or delivery vehicles. Just 3.2% of these are electric. The countries in which 2W and 3W are most popular include South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. The key African brands include Bajaj, Yamaha, Suzuki, TVS and Hero. Regarding e2W, the Roam Air, designed in Kenya specifically for the African market, offers a range of 140km, a payload of 220kg, a removable battery, a portable charger and costs around $1,500.  

Source: Roam Electric (Kenya)

The global OEM marketplace is adapting to regional preferences for two and three-wheelers, particularly in APAC, LatAm, and Africa. These vehicles offer practical and economic benefits, with electric models on the rise. Brands are innovating to meet local needs, promising a future where e2W and e3W options could lead to urban transportation solutions.

Read more on our e-book dedicated to the OEM Marketplace

Main image - shutterstock_1838615200

Authored by: Alison Pittaway