ABI Research forecasts that global electric vehicle revenue will hit $58 billion in 2021, more than five times its market value in 2015.
The role of vehicle electrification in urban areas is part of a broader smart mobility model that includes shared vehicles, charging options, and driverless electric vehicle fleets of cars, buses, trams, and light rail. No singular option prevails; in fact, innovative manufacturers are creating ways for them to converge.—Susan Beardslee, Senior Analyst at ABI Research
Leading automotive manufacturers Ford and BMW, for example, are looking to create electric bikes that could fit and charge inside of a car. The goal is for drivers to then be able to ditch their cars and use the bikes as a more eco-friendly mode of transportation to complete the last leg of long journeys. Similarly, Tier 1 companies, such as Continental, are designing and manufacturing batteries and engines that can better accommodate small, personal electric vehicles.
China is one region pushing particularly hard to make electric vehicles a reality, with regional vendors such as BYD outselling larger OEMs such as Chevy, Nissan, and Tesla. As newer urban electric transportation categories continue to emerge, such as the three-wheeled vehicles more commonly referred to as velomobiles, so to do opportunities for emerging markets and the elderly or disabled.
The US is taking longer to embrace the trend, though, with many residents expressing hesitation to let go of their private, singular vehicles as we move toward a shared, smart mobility transportation model. Once the price point of electric vehicles starts to drop, as evident with Tesla’s Model 3 and the forthcoming Chevy Bolt, and manufacturers address range anxiety, we believe that the US market will see a jump in its sales. Over time, we expect greater adoption through fleet purchases including Uber and Lyft.—Susan Beardslee
Personal mobility companies VeloMetro and EcoReco, for instance, are embracing the shared fleet mentality. Both companies are rolling out innovative personal transport vehicles that they plan to pilot with universities and municipalities in the months ahead.
While the market’s current lack of sufficient standards and infrastructure is impacting the broader adoption of electric vehicles, we believe that the greater access, variety, and flexibility of electric vehicles and increasing urban congestion will positively influence future electric vehicle deployment and adoption.—Susan Beardslee
These findings are part of ABI Research’s Smart Transportation Service, which includes research reports, market data, insights, and competitive assessments.