In the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines NEVs as low-speed vehicles that top out at 25 miles per hour and restricts their use to roads with a speed limit of 35 mph of less. Over in Europe, NEVs are classified as quadricycles and top speed is restricted to 28 mph. Meanwhile, Japan categorizes NEVs based on power and most other Asian nations have not developed a classification system for NEVs, according to Pike. With that chunk of info out of the way, Pike says that 70 percent of NEVs are sold to fleets, with most private buyers admitting that NEVs are purchased as a second or third vehicle.The rise in gas prices, the aging population, and the increase in master planning and community density all point to trends that will encourage NEV adoption. However, the market will remain small, as regulators seem unlikely to allow lower-speed vehicles to mix with higher-speed vehicles in any meaningful way on the roads.
[Source: Pike Research]
June 16, 2011
Neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs), also known as low-speed electric vehicles, were one of the original "electric vehicle" categories and have been on the market for a number of years. NEVs are street legal with a top speed of 25 miles per hour. Originally conceived as a way to fulfill the California Air Resources Board zero emissions requirements in the late 1990s, the vehicles have found a niche with fleets that can use inexpensive vehicles on public roads, and consumers who live in communities that often have designated paths and parking for the vehicles.
According to a new report from Pike Research, the total number of NEVs on the world's roadways will grow from 479,000 in 2011 to 695,000 by 2017, a 45% increase. During that period, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that annual NEV sales will rise from 37,000 vehicles to nearly 55,000 units by 2017, and North America will account for 45% of annual sales.
"Neighborhood electric vehicles are proof that EVs will take many forms in different parts of the world," says senior analyst Dave Hurst. "And while moderate in terms of sales volumes compared to other emerging vehicle markets, the growth rate for NEVs will double that of the total light duty vehicle market during the same period."
Hurst adds that NEVs remain competitive and relevant in today's market by utilizing lead acid battery technology, allowing them to compete at less than half the cost of light duty electric vehicles. At $100 to $200 per kilowatt hour (kWh), these lead acid batteries are the most inexpensive batteries available. Batteries used in NEVs include flooded, gelled, and absorbed glass mat (AGM) lead acid batteries.
Pike Research's report, "Neighborhood Electric Vehicles", provides a comprehensive examination of the market forces, technology issues, government incentives and regulations, and key drivers of the growth of neighborhood electric vehicles. The report includes sales, revenue, and battery forecasts through 2017, as well as profiles of key industry players. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm's website.
Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. For more information, visit www.pikeresearch.com or call +1.303.997.7609.