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.
Americans showing interest in buying an electric-drive vehicle has fallen about 17 percent during the past two years, as car buyers say the continued premium charged for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles doesn't offset the effect of lower refueling costs, according to green-technology research firm Pike Research.
DC quick-charge stations are robust units that promise to recharge plug-in vehicles from zero to 80-percent capacity in less than 30 minutes. While not required for EVs to work, these units make the concept of cross-country-capable electric vehicles believable and long distance electric-only journeys doable.
Annual worldwide sales of natural gas vehicles will jump 68 percent to 3.2 million vehicles in 2016 from 1.9 million in 2010, according to Pike Research. The surge, says Pike, will be driven mainly by fleets looking to cut petroleum dependency and reduce operating costs.
As the global economy takes steps toward recovery, truck manufacturers are looking to technologies that can mitigate the rising cost of diesel fuel. Trucks that utilize electricity to meet this goal come in four flavors: hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid, pure battery electric, and plug-in electric power take-off to operate on-board equipment without using fuel.
Pike Research keeps on pouring out reports, including its latest one, titled "Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment." This report from Pike forecasts that by the end of 2017, more than 7.7 million charging stations will have been installed around the globe, including 1.5 million right here in the United States. And no, this figure does not include those practically useless 120-volt outlets placed near parking spots.
According to a report from Pike Research, more than 5,200 hydrogen fueling stations will be operational worldwide by 2020, up from just 200 stations in 2010. The research firm forecasts that, by the end of 2020, annual investments in hydrogen stations will soar to $1.6 billion, with ten-year (2010 to 2020) investments hitting $8.4 billion globally.
The total number of neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) on roads throughout the world will increase slowly but steadily from 479,000 in 2011 to 695,000 by 2017, according to a study conducted by Pike Research. During that time period, annual NEV sales will shoot up from 37,000 vehicles to nearly 55,000, with North America accounting for a whopping 45 percent of annual sales. Pike notes that:
Worldwide sales of vehicles equipped with stop-start technology (aka micro hybrids) will soar in the coming decade, rising from three million units in 2011 to 37.3 million units annually by 2020, according to Pike Research. At that level, stop-start technology will be standard equipment in more than one-third of all light-duty vehicles sold.
According to a study conducted by Pike Research, the number of electric motorcycles and scooters on the roads across the globe will increase from an estimated 17 million in 2011 to 138 million by 2017. Battery-powered two-wheelers are already widely used in China and other urbanized areas of Asia, says Pike. But in other regions, government incentives and rising fuel costs will contribute to increased demand for electric motorcycles and scooters.
According to a report from Pike Research, cumulative sales of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) will surpass the million-unit milestone by 2020, with total sales hitting 1.2 million by the end of that year. Pike indicates that, between 2010 to 2014, approximately 10,000 FCVs will hit the streets. Following that, the research firm claims that 57,000 FCVs will be sold in 2015, with sales soaring to 390,000 vehicles annually by 2020.
Forecasting the future of the plug-in vehicle segment is not an exact science, but countless firms, including Pike Research, strive to provide accurate predictions. Recently, Pike constructed a model for plug-in vehicles sales broken down by individual states and metropolitan statistical areas.