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IDTechEx: Industrial and Commercial Electric Vehicles are the Winners


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CAMBRIDGE, England--As the electric vehicle industry grows more than five-fold to over $300 billion in 2024, those e-vehicles not bought primarily on up-front price will continue to dominate. These are the large vehicles such as buses and military vehicles and the heavy lifting or pushing vehicles such as forklifts and earthmovers. Customers here are companies and governments primarily concerned about total cost of ownership and performance. Less important are private individuals with concerns about up-front price when they buy smaller or lighter duty vehicles such as e-cars and e-bikes.

“Industrial and Commercial Hybrid & Pure Electric Vehicles 2013-2023: Forecasts, Opportunities, Players”

Next come vehicles purchased by individuals. These electric cars, bikes, leisure boats, light aircraft and so on will be about 35% of the EV business to 2024. Military e-vehicles, land, water and airborne will be most of the remaining value market in 2024 and, as with industrial and commercial ones, they are not bought primarily on up-front price.

IDTechEx forecast that over the next decade, the largest global EV value sector will be industrial and commercial for land, water and air – accounting for nearly 50% of the total hybrid and pure electric vehicle business. It is fully analysed in the IDTechEx report, “Industrial and Commercial Hybrid & Pure Electric Vehicles 2013-2023: Forecasts, Opportunities, Players” (IDTECH).

Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx said, “Manufacturers of industrial and commercial electric vehicles and their parts/services tend to be profitable whereas those making personal electric bikes and cars report most losses and bankruptcies. That said there are far too many manufacturers of light industrial and commercial e-vehicles. Their profitability can be improved even further by mergers and a shakeout of those that are neither niche nor volume players, as happened in the heavy lifting, pulling or pushing industrial and commercial sector with electric forklifts, ten years ago.”

Within the on-road types, buses are particularly important vehicles primarily due to the massive programme of the Chinese government. Next come e-vans/delivery trucks, conventional electric cars and special designs used as taxis and converted golf cars converted as people movers in airports, theme parks and hotel grounds.

Off-road, we assess that indoor forklifts will continue to be the main subsector of industrial and commercial vehicles but with largest growth from relatively new applications such as agriculture, mining, utility and construction vehicles and outdoor forklifts.