Electric is 'going to come' says Kymco boss in exclusive MCN interview

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Kymco Chairman, Allen Ko has told MCN he believes the future of propulsion lies with electric vehicles (EV), regardless of the potential benefits of other technologies, due to the public perception and infrastructure advancements already made in battery power.

“We like to look at the history of technology, of evolution and revolution. What really counts is not the superiority of certain technology, but the way that the customers want their technology,” the Kymco boss said.

“These days EV is already getting to the point that everybody knows about it. Other technology is maybe a bit better, or maybe a bit more efficient, but nobody knows about it,” he continued. “Other technologies may have certain advantages but it’s very hard for those to take EV’s place.”

Mr Ko’s comments come at a time when other brands are actively pursuing other alternative fuel sources, these include Triumph who are working on more sustainable E40 petrol to use in Moto2 racing as of 2024, as well as electric concepts like the TE-1 naked.

Elsewhere, Kawasaki have already displayed a hybrid electric concept, blending a small-capacity petrol and electric motor.

Kawasaki also used last autumn’s show season to reveal a hydrogen engine concept based on the supercharged four-cylinder found in the Ninja H2, with technology giant Bosch aiming to install 4000 hydrogen filling stations by 2030.

Allen Ko, Kymco CEO on Revonex

But the Kymco boss remains unconvinced, suggesting a lack of infrastructure will hinder public acceptance.

He said: “The kind of technology we are talking about these days is all about infrastructure. So, you want to have the hydrogen-powered engine, but where is the station? You need people to build it.

“If you don’t have a very established and recognised trend, then people don’t want to invest. No one single company can do those things, it requires everybody’s effort to make it work.

“The only technology that can bring everybody to invest in this type of infrastructure is EV.”

Despite this, he acknowledges that the charging network still needs to develop. Back in March 2022, the Department for Transport announced a plan for 300,000 public charge points by 2030.

Kymco themselves are now also part of the ‘Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium’ looking to standardise charging – boosting accessibility and cutting costs.

Kymco SuperNEX right side on white background

“I think the transition from internal combustion engines to electric is going to take a while. Not because of the tech, not because of the cost, but mainly because of the infrastructure,” Mr Ko added.

“So, even people who want to buy an electric motorcycle, they don’t find the places to charge, or to swap. So, I think it really depends on that. But the key is that these days – especially in the younger generations – is they prefer EV.

“I think there’s a long-term change and there’s no turning back. EV is coming and at a certain point – especially when the government set a deadline for the internal combustion engine vehicles – that will be the end of them. It’s going to come.”