Fans of the iconic 1980 comedy flick Airplane! may smirk at the image of a blow-up "autopilot" materializing on the controls of the not-quite-doomed aircraft. Those folks (c'mon, we know you're out there) may now imagine a similar site behind the wheel of a long-haul 18-wheeler. Think of it at Zucker Bros. meets B.J. and the Bear. Or something like that.
Current and future electric motorcycle and e-scooter makers are hoping that global sales of the two-wheeled plug-ins take off as quickly as their electric-powered bikes. Numbers collected by Navigant Research should give those companies a bit of hope. The research firm says the e-motorcycle and e-scooter market is ready to surge as component prices drop while gas prices continue to rise.
Even as electric vehicles gain in popularity, we're told again and again that internal combustion engines aren't going away. While that may be true, it would still be nice to kick our addiction to gasoline. Pollution, international turmoil and energy insecurity are getting a bit tiresome. It's good news, then that Navigant Research is predicting a decline in the amount of gasoline we use.
When it comes to two-wheeled electric-vehicle sales, North America and Europe giveth while China taketh away. According to new numbers from Navigant Research, global annual e-scooter sales will increase 12 percent to 4.6 million in 2023, while global annual e-motorcycle sales will rise 17 percent to 1.4 million. Put them together and annual two-wheeled electric vehicle sales will increase 13 percent during the next decade to 6 million.
In the "you take your victories where you can" department, electric-vehicle advocates and environmentalists alike can rejoice in the fact that even electric forklift sales are on the way up. Annual sales of electric forklifts in North America will exceed $500 million by 2020, up from about $100 million this year, according to a study by Navigant (formerly Pike) Research.
"Tonight, we're gonna party like it's 2020" doesn't quite have the same ring to it, but if Navigant Research is correct, electric-vehicle advocates will have reasons to be celebratory, whether Prince is playing or not. The research company formerly known as Pike is saying that lithium-ion battery costs may fall by almost two-thirds by the end of the decade, making EVs pretty price-competitive with comparable gas-powered cars and shortening any plug-in premium payoff period, according to Plug In