The light electric vehicle market is projected to grow from USD 78.5 billion in 2022 to USD 122.7 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 9.4%. This study mapped electric industrial vehicles, autonomous forklifts, delivery robots, electric bikes, electric scooters, electric motorcycles, neighborhood electric vehicles, electric lawnmowers (robotic and manual), and automated guided vehicles.
Rapid electrification of neighborhood vehicles, scooters, and motorcycles, usage of e-bikes for multiple roles in urban commute, recreation, and sports, and increased shift to use of battery-operated material handling vehicles (e.g., forklifts, aisle trucks, tow-tractors, and others) for indoor applications have all increased demand for low-emission alternatives to off-road vehicles (e.g., ATVs and UTVs), lawnmowers, and other household items. Additionally, the demand for e-scooters and e-motorcycles is anticipated to increase more quickly than that of other LEVS due to the rapid deployment of charging stations throughout nations and initiatives and actions taken by local governments to minimize emissions and traffic on roadways.
The growing demand for LEVs with low seating capacity is further likely to augment the sales of electric scooters and electric bikes with low power (less than 6 kW) for personal commutes and shared mobility applications. Owing to their high demand, Chinese players are exporting these low-power LEVs to North America and Europe at relatively lower costs. Therefore, the growing demand for personal mobility will drive the less than 6 kW power output segment during the forecast period. Most electric two-wheelers have a power output of less than 6 kW. These low-power two-wheelers are used for delivery purposes and personal transportation, among others. For instance, the Yadea C1S Pro, which comes with a power output of 2.2 kW to 3.9 kW, is suitable for small applications, such as warehouse management. The Center-Steering Electric Counterbalanced Lift Truck “8FBE Series” has a power output of 4.9 kW and is used for smaller applications. Government promotions and schemes have also led to increased sales of less than 6 kW power output e-bikes over the years. Hence, the above-mentioned factors would drive the growth of the less than 6 kW segment.
In the current scenario, lithium-ion batteries are the preferred choice for LEVs like e-ATVs/UTVs, e-scooters, e-motorcycles, e-bikes, etc. because of their higher energy density, longer life, and zero maintenance effect compared to lead-acid batteries. The only factor impacting the adoption of lithium-ion batteries is their high cost and availability of raw materials for their production. Invented in 1859, the lead-acid battery is still found in many electric utility vehicles. The lead-acid battery offers a limited capacity despite its significant bulk and weight; still, it has the advantage of being both inexpensive and easy to produce and recycle. However, due to growing environmental awareness, the hazardous nature of lead-acid batteries is now restraining their usage in LEVs.
The LEV market is primarily dominated by players like Textron Inc. (US), Polaris Inc. (US), John Deere (US), Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. (Japan), Club Car Inc. (US), and BMW AG (Germany). The top key players in the e-ATV/UTV segment of the LEV market are Polaris Inc. (US), Toyota Industries (Japan), John Deere (US), and Textron Inc. (US). The top key players in the e-Bike segment of the LEV market are Accell Group NV (Netherlands), Merida Industry Co. Ltd. (Taiwan), Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Taiwan), and Yamaha Motor Company (Japan).