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Forecast: Annual Sales of Light Electric Vehicles to Reach 130 Million Units by 2025

sales graph up (select to view enlarged photo)

CAMBRIDGE, England--October 15, 2013: Nearly all electric vehicles are and will remain e-bikes, with the e-bike market growing to be about 1 in 2 bicycles worldwide, or 65 million electric bicycles per year. IDTechEx predict a level of 130 million light electric vehicles (LEVs) sold each year being reached before 2025 - making it one of the world's largest industries.

“This will easily be another 65 million units per year”

Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx, sees national and local governments creating laws that ban the use of internal combustion engine mopeds, motor scooters and motorcycles as soon as truly viable electric versions are available. “This will easily be another 65 million units per year,” he says.

Some cars and light trucks will be replaced by LEVs for delivery purposes, because users will find that the LEV is “good enough” and due to parking and cost issues, but the numbers will be small. Almost all parts (bicycle parts, motors, batteries, controllers, etc.) used to assemble an electric bike are imported from China or Taiwan.

IDTechEx notes that the vehicles for the disabled are now well over 1.3 million yearly across the world. They are mainly bought in Europe and the USA by people that are simply obese or old and not registered as disabled - this leads to impulse purchases and one of the most profitable, recession-proof EV businesses.

The MicroEV business is also moving ahead rapidly and profitably. Many of them being a luxury amusement in the West, in the form of the Renault Twizy for example, and a volume business in emerging countries with for example many companies now seeking to replace the 3.5 million three-wheel taxis in the Philippines to tackle chronic air pollution. IDTechEx recently interviewed one Philippine company that has finance in place that is independent of the World Bank funding for 100,000 such e-taxis. Contrast golf cars, a static but highly profitable business for the two leading manufacturers and e-motorcycles, which are having difficulty to get much traction, if you excuse the pun, though even Harley Davidson is now studying whether to make them.