‘Electric Vehicles: Land, Sea and Air 2021-2041’ puts IDTechEx’s core electric vehicle forecasts in one place: unit sales, battery demand, market sizing and more. Each chapter summarises the main drivers, trends and forecasts for a vehicle subsegment (two-wheelers, cars, vans / LCV, trucks, buses, leisure boats, commercial short and deep-sea ships, manned aircraft) or enabling technology (Li-ion batteries, electric motors).
By providing a clearer understanding of relative market sizes, battery demand and the fastest-growing electric vehicle markets beyond cars, our aim is to give those in the industry the knowledge to make more informed decisions on their investments and focus into the electric vehicle industry. We summarise each chapter below.
Electric Two-wheelers (E2W)
While in the US and Europe the primary form of urban mobility is the car, in east Asia the dominant form of transportation is the motorcycle, which is much cheaper to own and run. Often, motorcycles are not held to equivalent emissions standards as cars, and are more highly polluting. In the past decade, India has overtaken China to become the world’s largest motorcycle market, selling roughly 17 million in fiscal year 2020 (SIAM) in a global market of 57 million (Marklines). It is no coincidence that India has seven out of the world’s top ten most polluting cities. When we hear ambitious electrification targets from countries like India, it is the electrification of two-wheelers and micro-mobility, not cars, which is the focus.
Once derided as toys, today electric cars with barely 15 years of development offer cutting-edge automotive technology and performance, from sub 2.5 second 0-60mph acceleration, to autonomous driving functionality and solar bodywork. Battery-electric vehicles (BEV) are the endgame: zero emissions at point of use and the focus of automotive startups (and China). On the other hand, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) provide a short / mid-term solution, soothing initial fears of range anxiety; PHEVs tend to be the focus of incumbent automakers but are increasingly losing share to BEVs. Due to the sheer volume of vehicle sales and their relatively large battery sizes per vehicle, cars dominate battery demand and unit sales by 2041.
Electric Vans / Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV)
Today the electric LCV market is at a nascent stage: it is much smaller than the electric car market and few models are available for purchase. The next few years will see companies conducting large pilot projects to establish that eLCVs meet their operational range, load capacity, payload and reliability requirements. As experience and trust in electric technology grows, widespread replacement of ageing diesel LCVs with eLCVs will begin. Electrification is also driven by increasing demand for freight delivery as the retail industry grows its online sales platforms, and consumers gradually abandon private car ownership for mobility as a service (MaaS) platforms.
Along with the rest of the automotive sector, the medium-duty (MD) and heavy-duty (HD) truck market is evolving. Governments around the world, recognising the potentially catastrophic repercussions of unfettered climate change and witnessing the detrimental impact on human health from vehicle exhaust pollutant emissions, are taking decisive action, that will, in the coming decades, drive vehicle manufacturers to zero on-road exhaust emission powertrain solutions. Consequently, the days of the fossil fuel powered combustion engine are numbered.
China has led the world in bus electrification and will continue to dominate sales volume for the foreseeable future. However, as a result of the subsidy phase-outs and the increasing saturation of electric buses in Tier 1 cities, IDTechEx project that electric bus sales in China will stabilise at a lower level than during the subsidy boom years, after the biggest decline yet in 2020 from the covid-19 pandemic. Future growth will be sourced from countries outside of China, in Europe and south-east Asia.
Electric Boats and Ships
Across all electric vehicle sectors tracked by IDTechEx over land, sea and air, we predominantly foresee a transition partly or completely to a traction battery over the next two decades. The case is not so simple for the marine sector: due to the sheer scale of the power, energy and distance requirements for many vessels, reducing maritime emissions will require solutions varying from batteries and fuel cells to premium fuels, scrubbers and slow-steaming.
Today, batteries have mainly emerged in leisure boating, ferries and short-sea vessels, where they have enjoyed steady uptake due to small vessel sizes or well-defined cyclical routes (that allow for opportunity charging). In larger deep-sea vessels, uptake is slow, but unprecedented global emissions regulations are driving change, and shortages of traditional solutions on the horizon are creating new opportunities for energy storage start-ups in the arena.
Manned Electric Aircraft
There will be some dramatic winners and losers in electric aerospace. The report explores the story of three options for new manned electrically-driven aircraft. Small fixed-wing pure-electric is trading now. Larger hybrid and pure electric aircraft up to regional aircraft will be with us within ten years: a huge addressable market. The wild card is vertical-takeoff pure-electric aircraft as air taxis (eVTOL) and personal aircraft.
The report identifies and explains trends in Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles. For example, nickel content is increasing while cobalt content is decreasing: why is this important for automakers and the overall sustainability of the industry? We also provide historic market data on the Li-ion technology mix based on our database of electric cars in top auto markets: China has phased-out LFP from over half its car market to less than 2% today; why will Tesla contradict this and adopt LFP for Model 3 sales in China?
Electric Traction Motors
All electric motors have the same purpose of converting electrical energy to mechanical energy, but there are many types of motors that derive their names from their construction, principles of operation, or even from the control technique employed on them. In this report we explore why automakers are converging on permanent magnet motors, multiple motors, provide a benchmarking analysis of the different motor types and, finally, an outlook for how we expect the motor market to evolve over the next ten years.