The global market for electric motorcycles and scooters is expected to surge, with the number of vehicles projected to jump from 17 million in 2011 to more than 138 million by 2017, according to a new report. The two-wheel electric vehicles, which are already popular across Asia, will become increasingly common elsewhere as the rising cost of petroleum-based fuels and government incentives will drive market growth, according to the report by Pike Research. “They are relatively low cost to own, do not take a lot of space, and are easy to maintain, therefore making them attractive for city dwellers,” said Dave Hurst, a senior analyst for the Colorado-based clean-technology research firm. While the market for electric scooters will be six times greater than electric motorcycles in most markets, e-motorcycles are expected to be the more popular choice in some parts of the world, including North America, because of their higher speed and greater range. According to the analysis, the growth of electric vehicles will spur an increased demand for batteries, with the market for lithium ion batteries for e-motorcycles expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 24 percent from 2011 to 2017, and the market for lithium ion batteries for e-scooters predicted to increase at 19 percent.