Small manned electric vehicles - e-bikes to car-like micro EVs - often sell in the largest numbers. Although they are usually lower in cost than regular cars, they will reach over $33 billion in 2026 according to IDTechEx analysis. They are uniquely significant in addressing megatrends. Mobility vehicles for the disabled cope with the ageing of the population and the epidemic of obesity whereas car-like micro EVs help emerging nations as the missing affordable transition product between e-bike and e-car. They fill market gaps everywhere.
Micro EVs are not required to meet crash tests and other requirements of car homologation. Embracing quad bikes, all-terrain vehicles, Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV), quadricycles in Europe and so on, they are much simpler than cars and often one tenth of the price. Micro EVs take the form of three wheelers in the main with many four wheelers. They include farmers "cars" in China, e-tuktuks in the Phillippines where 3.2 million polluting tuktuk taxis need replacing, and e-rickshaws in India.
The extreme lightweighting possible with these micro EVs means they are among the first categories to spawn energy independent vehicles (EIV) that never plug in or fill up. So far, that mostly involves solar cells that are a load-bearing part of the body. This is "structural electronics" replacing the old "components-in-a-box". Analysts IDTechEx has reports, Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts and Energy Independent Vehicles 2016-2026 explaining and forecasting these aspects.
In addition, IDTechEx looks at all manned small vehicles in Micro EVs, e-Bikes, e-Scooters, e-Motorbikes, Mobility for Disabled 2016-2026. In 2026, e-scooters will dominate this small vehicle business followed by three-wheel micro EVs. Close behind, four wheel car-like versions and e-bikes are also set for robust sales.
Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx says, "A cheap electronic watch keeps better time than an expensive wind-up one. Equally ironic, an increasing number of low-cost micro EVs have unlimited range as long as the sun is out but big expensive electric cars often struggle with range. We forecast the increasingly significant small-EV market in eight very different segments from newly important e-motorbikes to the static golf car business and sectors that are large and growing strongly".