Air pollution and traffic congestion in urban areas continues to challenge the leadership in major cities across the globe. As a result of these growing problems, more local government leaders are considering alternative approaches to public policy resolutions. Promoting a variety of electric vehicle technology is gaining momentum worldwide.
ABI Research predicts an imminent rise in smart electric mobility. Their latest market data analysis lead to a forecast that global electric vehicle revenue will reach $58 billion in 2021 -- that's more than five times the market value in 2015.
"The role of vehicle electrication 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," said Susan Beardslee, senior analyst at ABI Research. "No singular option prevails -- in fact, innovative manufacturers are creating ways for them to converge."
Smart Electric Transportation Market Development
One example of creative innovation, leading automotive manufacturers are prototyping electric bikes that could fit and charge inside of a car. The goal is for drivers to then be able to park 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 attempting to make electric vehicles pervasive, with regional vendors such as BYD outselling larger international companies like Nissan and Tesla by a wide margin. And as newer urban electric transportation categories continue to emerge, such as the three-wheeled vehicles called velomobiles, so too do the market opportunities.
"The U.S. 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," continues Beardslee. "Once the price point of electric vehicles starts to drop, as evident with Tesla’s Model 3 and the forthcoming Chevy Bolt, we believe that the U.S. market will see a jump in its sales. Over time, we expect greater adoption through fleet purchases including Uber and Lyft."
Market Outlook for Electric Transportation
Personal mobility companies -- such as VeloMetro and EcoReco -- 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.
ABI believes that while the market’s current lack of sufficient standards and infrastructure is impacting the broader adoption of electric vehicles, greater access, variety, and flexibility of electric vehicles will positively influence future electric vehicle deployment and adoption.
The long-term forecasting of global energy needs from Exxon shows the sobering impact of an unsustainable 35 percent to 140 percent increase in energy requirements. Global consortia and public and private partnerships will continue to be leading efforts resulting in necessary change to our transportation industry.