Industrial and Commercial Electric Vehicle Markets Set to Explode in the Right Way

AUG 10 2013 BY STAFF 5

It’s in the commercial and industrial segment where the majority of electric vehicles dollars will be spent.

Electric Motorhome or Bus Chassis

Electric Motorhome or Bus Chassis

That’s the word, according to Research and Markets:

“Those selling components for electric vehicles and those wishing to make the vehicles themselves must seek where the majority of the money is spent and will be spent. That must lead them to industrial and commercial electric vehicles because today these represent 60% of the value of the electric vehicle market. Indeed, this sector is set to grow 4.2 times in the next decade. Industrial and commercial electric vehicles include heavy industrial vehicles, the term referring to heavy lifting, as with forklifts.”

There exists even more electric commercial and industrial machines, as Research and Markets explains:

“Then we have buses, trucks, taxis and the other light industrial and commercial vehicles. There are also a few work boats and commercial boats and one day there will be commercial electric aircraft but this is really a story about the burgeoning demand for off-road industrial vehicles and on-road commercial vehicles.”

Why the electric focus in these two segments?  Well, the answer comes in two parts.  First, it’s a way for fleets to save on operating costs.  Second, it aligns with government objectives focused on reducing air pollution.

There are subsidies for some vehicles in both the industrial and commercial segments, though Research and Markets says that incentives don’t contribute to growth in a meaningful way.

Source: Research and Markets

Categories: General


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5 Comments on "Industrial and Commercial Electric Vehicle Markets Set to Explode in the Right Way"

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Yeah, the local delivery market seems like a no-brainer to me. Local delivery vans operate from a centralized location where they can charge at night, they do a lot of stop & go driving, and they generally travel less than 100 miles a day. They are perfect for electrification.

One worry I’d have with these is the use of electric heating in cities like Boston and NYC where a driver’s route may be 6 hours of driving but only 50 miles of distance and 100 miles of charge. Would 6 hours of cabin heating be a big drain on mile capability (as well as the cold ambient air which also is a detriment)?

We do know that in many cities, idling a truck is illegal but when the driver jumps back in, the hot engine can re-heat the cabin quickly. In NYC, I see a lot of idling cars and SUVs (usually drivers for city-based corporate leaders and apartment dwellers). Idling in the summer for AC and in winter for heat.

Defintely a must to have battery swap outs at end-of-route for buses; with service vehicles in case of surprises mid-point. Major pollution and could use the noise reduction if you ask me.

Can you imagine the saving on gas & maintenance for fleets!


Viamotors’ use of a 231 cu inch v6 to provide cabin heat in very cold weather solves this problem. The majority of the time only the electric motor is used.

In my Volt, I find the most efficient operation in very cold weather is to let the engine cycle on and off while driving with the heater fan on high, but the electric heat off. The heater “recovers” some of the jacket heat and just when it starts getting cold I let the engine turn back on.

I regularly get 45 miles per charge in my 2011, but the worst has been 6 miles per charge in January. The cheapest operation is to let the engine run as mentioned. With my pricey electricity in my area, it is much cheaper than gas MOST of the time. Letting the engine run to heat the cabin and defrost the windows is a very reasonable bargain.