Today, there are about 17 million scooters on the road worldwide. By 2017, one estimate puts that number at 138 million, and most of them will probably be electric. For all you drivers out there, get ready to be really, really annoyed.
Scooters may be obnoxious, but there are some good reasons why so many people (in Asia, especially) rely on them. They're cheap to buy, simple to fix, and easy to park. They're also much more efficient than cars, both in terms of how much pollution they emit and how much they contribute to traffic congestion, pictures like the one above notwithstanding.
Electric scooters take all of these positive attributes and improve on them: they're cheaper to own, even simpler to maintain, and don't emit any pollution at all. This kind of thing makes a lot of sense for people living in dense urban areas, a demographic that's going to explode in the next half-decade. While much of that growth is going to be in Asia, here in the U.S., electric motorcycles are going to be where it's at, offering extra amenities increased range.
Of course, all of this depends on things like batteries becoming cheaper and more reliable, and it may end up that we all start driving scooters powered by fuel cells instead. But either way, scooters make too much sense for them not to become an integral part of future urban transport, and we may all have to just suck it up and become that weird guy who rides around on a scooter. Sigh.