A recent study conducted by Frost & Sullivan assesses the impact of electric vehicles (EVs) on the commercial industry. In particular, the study focused on light-duty commercial vehicles along the lines of small delivery vans, pickup trucks and buses. Frost & Sullivan notes that commercial vehicles regularly remain in service for far longer than your typical passenger vehicles and, when coupled with the fact that many of the miles on these vehicles are racked up in stop-and-go use, you've got a vehicle that is costly to maintain, operate and fuel up. Seeking a way to reduce high operating costs, the study predicts that the commercial industry will increasingly turn to electric vehicles.
The study suggests that Europe's demand for light-duty commercial electrics will far outweigh other continents. European companies and municipalities are expected to purchase 165,000 battery-electric vans, buses and trucks by 2016 with the North American market only requiring a fraction of that number (26,000 units). The vast majority of the light-duty commercial EVs that we will see tooling around by 2016 will include electric versions of the Ford Transit Connect and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. These two vehicles are expected to capture one third of the European light-duty commercial EV market. As we've said before, commercial fleets are ideally suited for electrification and these high-volume predictions further affirm that belief.