Light industrial and commercial EV business to exceed USD20 billion by 2023, says IDTechEx

July 10, 2013 // By Julien Happich
A significant proportion of electric cars and car-like "MicroEVs" including e-trikes and e-rickshaws will take the form of taxis, according to Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman of market research firm IDTechEx

As detailed in the company's report, "Industrial and Commercial Electric Vehicles 2013-2023", IDTechEx projects that 119,000 electric taxis will be sold in 2014, giving a USD1.8 billion global market. Most of the commercial electric vehicles, including the taxis, are and will be pure electric. That will even be true of large commercial vehicles, notably e-buses, set to exceed a USD20 billion market as early as 2018 and dominated by demand in China on IDTechEx analysis. Already a market of over USD8 billion, the light industrial and commercial electric vehicle business will surpass USD20 billion by 2023.

Fig. 1. 2014 global market for the different categories of industrial and commercial electric vehicles (US$ billions). Source: IDTechEx.

Fig. 2. Global market value of light industrial and commercial EVs, including heavy trucks but excluding buses and taxis. Source: IDTechEx.

Dr Harrop explains that pure electric cars are outsold about 4:1 by pure electric light electric vehicles in the developed world and by over 50:1 in emerging countries. The reasons include the fact that organizations usually operate their vehicles in defined small areas and even on fixed routes, so they can easily manage the limited range of affordable pure electric drivetrains. They prioritize cost over life, a green image, health improvements and even substituting imported oil over upfront cost, all of which matches the strengths of pure electrics.

By contrast, private cars are bought on up-front cost and most people want them to be more versatile, taking them long distances on vacation and in emergencies. Unlike commercial organizations, private individuals can rarely afford to buy two vehicles - one for long range and one pure electric for short range. Most people have nowhere to park two vehicles anyway. However, there will be a tipping point and IDTechEx expect it will be within the next decade when range of pure electric private cars becomes acceptable to most potential purchasers if combined with a