Chinese motorcycle and powersport manufacturer CFMoto just announced updates to its planned electric scooter lineup. The new sub-brand will sell scoots under the name “Zeeho,” and the first vehicle we see from it is the Cyber Concept scooter.
This is sort of big news, but it also isn’t. At least not for North Americans.
On the one hand, this shows the strength of the quick-growing electric scooter industry. This is where the real future of electric two-wheelers is right now—battery-powered runabouts, restricted to inner-city commuting duties, where they won’t quickly outrun their battery range. The Japanese manufacturers are all working on machines like this, and now other Asian OEMs, particularly Taiwanese and Chinese factories, are building similar vehicles.
Furthermore, CFMoto might not be a super-common name in the North American powersports and motorcycle scene, but it has been here a while. Right now, it’s best-known for selling lower-priced ATVs in Canada and the US. In other markets, CFMoto sells full-sized motorcycles. A few years back, CFMoto adapted Kawasaki designs, and now it’s got a significant partnership with KTM.
To put all the pieces together: CFMoto has the capability to make scooters and possibly motorcycles that can impact the world market. After all, KTM and Kawasaki apparently take the company very seriously.
On the other hand, it’s not as if there’s significant demand for electric scooters in North America yet. And while CFMoto has a deal with KTM, it’s unlikely Team Orange will want to market a Chinese-built scooter soon.
The Zeeho brand was actually launched in 2018, but the Cyber Concept is our first concept “bike” from the brand. The Cyber Concept has decent specs for an electric step-through; 0-30 mph acceleration time is 2.9 seconds, top speed is 70 mph, and it’s supposed to have a range of 80 miles or more. It runs off a li-ion battery from Farasis Energy, supposedly good for 80 miles of range. It’s also supposed to have an eight-year/2500-cycle lifespan, meaning it should last more than 186,000 miles. Or at least, that’s the claim.
While this may not be the machine that brings electric scooters into the mainstream in North America, rest assured that we’ll see that happen eventually. Governments in Europe and Asia have been cracking down on gas-powered vehicles for years now, and we’re starting to see that happen in North America. Sooner or later, financial realities will drive even the most hard-core petroholics over to the world of battery bikes.