The hype or buzz around electric vehicles has never really gone away. From Tesla’s global influence to the global discussion on the long-term viability of fossil fuels, electric vehicles remain a potential solution to many of the current transport issues in Southeast Asia.

However, in reality, adoption has been slow especially around 2-wheeled electric vehicles. This is where Scorpio Electric hopes to change all of that. Having raised almost USD 15 million since launch, the company is poised to spur growth in new market.

To find out more, we spoke to Joshua Goh, CEO of Scorpio Electric about the potential for the industry in Southeast Asia, as well as what needs to happen in order to grow the industry.

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Having taken over the reins of the business just over a year ago, Joshua has been at the forefront of growing the business. This includes having completed the first Scorpio Electric X1 prototype and overseen their most recent fundraising rounds. The company is aiming to be a cutting-edge manufacturer of electric motorcycles with a focus on high performance.

The prototype X1 is meant to have a futuristic, distinctive design in a useful maxi-scooter form. With the newest smart rider technology and connectivity, the X1 offers dynamic ride qualities and handling abilities.

The Scorpio Electric X1 Bike
The Scorpio X1 Bike

Electric vehicles continue to grow, but adoption in Southeast Asia (outside of Thailand) is still lower comparatively than the rest of the world. How do you plan to grow the market and change consumer perception?

Electric vehicle (EV) adoption globally is low compared to China. The Chinese have invested heavily and early in this space and are the leaders today. It will be an almost insurmountable task for Scorpio Electric to single-handedly grow the EV market and change consumer perception. We are focused on creating unique electric motorcycles that will revolutionise urban commuter riding. We are working with all EV stakeholders to ensure that we are successful in our own race. 

Our approach to reshaping consumer perceptions involves a multifaceted strategy. In the short term, our product design ideation centres around delivering a unique user experience, with a keen emphasis on design aesthetics, comfort, and cutting-edge features. This aims to cater to the distinct needs of our customers and pave the way for a future of electric mobility.

Looking ahead to the long term, we envision establishing localized manufacturing or assembly facilities in strategic markets to reduce costs and demonstrate regional commitment. This could lead to more affordable Scorpio Electric motorcycles for consumers, and that is in tandem with EV adoption.

How large is the current market in Southeast Asia?

As of 2022, the electric motorcycle market in Southeast Asia remains at an early stage of development, constituting less than 1% of the total market share. In contrast, China has taken the lead globally with a substantial 20% market share for electric motorcycles. This significant figure mirrors China’s dominance in the realm of electrified four-wheeled vehicles.

According to a report from Japan’s Yano Research Institute in June, electric two-wheelers, excluding electric kick scooters, collectively accounted for 13% of global two-wheeled vehicle sales by 2022. This statistic is projected to witness impressive growth, potentially reaching 27% by 2030 and 36% by 2035. These projections underscore the increasing acceptance and adoption of electric two-wheelers across the world.

In summary, the electric motorcycle market in Southeast Asia is still in its infancy, while China has achieved significant milestones in terms of market share. We are excited to be a part of this remarkable growth in the electric two-wheeler segment over the next decade and beyond.

Do you think governments (or regulators) have a role to play in the growth of EV in Southeast Asia?

Governments play a vital role in facilitating the growth of Southeast Asia’s EVs. I firmly believe that their involvement is crucial for the following reasons:

Incentives and Support: Another way is through financial incentives and support mechanisms to encourage consumers to adopt electric motorcycles. These incentives might include tax breaks, subsidies, and grants that make electric vehicles more accessible and appealing to a broader range of consumers.

Promotion of Environmental Benefits: With zero tailpipe emissions, electric vehicles have a direct contribution to reducing greenhouse gasses. We are working in collaboration with the governmental bodies to shape public policies, promote a cleaner environment and improve air quality.

Which markets in the region have been showing the most potential for growth?

Growth is relative, and this means differently for different brands. Scorpio Electric is a luxury electric motorcycle brand. We are focused on catering to our fans in Europe and in Southeast Asia. As Singapore’s first electric motorcycle manufacturer, the world is our oyster.

Within Asia, we see a strong growth potential in the Indian and Indonesian markets. According to McKinsey projections, India and Indonesia will emerge as the second and third largest electric two-wheeler (E2W) markets globally by 2030, following China. These countries are anticipated to experience an impressive annual growth rate of over 60%. 

This growth indicates a substantial transformation, resulting in an estimated electrification rate of approximately 36% for two-wheelers in India and the Southeast Asian region by 2030. This marks a considerable increase from the current electrification rate, which is generally under 5%.

What’s next for Scorpio Electric?

We eagerly anticipate the upcoming EICMA event in November in Italy, as it presents a remarkable opportunity to unveil our highly anticipated model, the X1 and two brand-new concept electric motorcycles. 

This event serves as a platform to showcase our innovation and dedication to the automotive industry, and we are excited to connect with enthusiasts, partners, and the public alike. With meticulous planning and enthusiasm, we are gearing up to make a significant impact at EICMA and leave a lasting impression as we introduce Scorpio Electric and the exceptional X1 to the world.