Light Electric Vehicles: More than just cars, a revolution

by / Wednesday, 22 August 2012 / Published in Smartgrid-CI Blog

With the emergence of Light Electric Vehicles, the smart grid will take a brand new (and unexpected) dimension.

According to Global Information Inc. (GII), light electric vehicles sales should reach 130 million units a year by 2025. http://www.giiresearch.com/report/ix234991-light-electric-vehicles-2012-2022.html
This number should be compared to 2011’s total vehicle production of 80 million units, growing at a pace of roughly 5% a year. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_automobile_production
What does this mean for the future of transportation?
Assuming that the global annual car production doubles during the same time frame, about 160 million cars should be turned out in 2025. Assuming that Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Gohn’s forecast that 10% of the car market will be made of electric vehicles by 2020 (and that this percentage remains constant for the following years), 16 million new electric cars should hit the road in 2025.
OK, these numbers are approximate. Point is that in 2025 the light electric vehicle (LEV) market should become almost as big in units as the car market, and will surpass the electric car market almost 10 times.
What is happening under our eyes is the emergence of a global revolution in transportation.
According to GII’s definition, LEV’s are any kind of 2, 3 or 4 wheelers (and designers imagination in this area has no limit) from Voltitude’s foldable electric bike http://www.voltitude.com/product/to  Bubble Bike’s three-wheeler  http://www.gizmag.com/chinese-electric-three-wheeler/15697/to BulgE’s futuristic scooter http://www.treehugger.com/cars/buge-electric-three-wheeler.html, and anything in between.  Dozens of manufacturers are already active all over the world including in countries that do not have any national automotive industry.
The huge diversity of products that will be made available in the next few years will satisfy all tastes and all needs, and no doubt LEV will become a global craze.
No doubt also that the LEV emergence will have the same impact as any radical business transformation.
New entrants will enter the market, consumers will change their transportation habits, and new business models will come out in order to better design, manufacture and service these products.

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This revolution will impact several industries; automotive, oil and gas and in particular oil distribution, energy and utilities and so on…
2025 is not so far away and LEV’s may well be the smart grid’s long expected killer application.
Who is ready for it?   
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