The EV (electric vehicle) discussion is multifaceted. One common question is which comes first—the vehicles or the infrastructure? Some claim that before EVs truly catch hold in the marketplace, there needs to be a more developed infrastructure of public and private charging stations to support these vehicles. Others claim the investment infrastructure will follow an uptick in the number of EVs on the road. And what should manufacturers do about micro EVs in places like Europe and Asia?

IDTechEx, www.IDTechEx.com, a market research firm focusing on emerging technologies, says there are important strategy decisions in the near future for EV manufacturers and EV-component manufacturers. For instance, statistics from the firm’s new report, “Hybrid and Pure Electric Cars 2014-2024: Technologies, Markets, Forecasts,” suggests there will be a large market for micro EVs in part due to the popularity of vehicles such as electronic rickshaw carts and eTukTuks popular in countries such as India and the Philippines.

According to IDTechEx, which differentiates between crash-tested, homologated on-road cars and “car-like vehicles” that include micro EVs and golf carts, says by 2025 the global market for homologated hybrid and pure electric cars will be in the $188 billion range. Add in micro EVs and the firm says we can expect at least $10 billion dollars more in sales.

One question IDTechEx encourages market players to consider is this: Do car-like vehicles such as micro EVs contribute to the mainstream EV movement or pose a threat to it? On one hand, the firm says automotive manufacturers could reject micro EVs as dangerous in an effort to promote conventional EV sales. On the other hand, the firm says manufacturers could welcome micro EVs “as a useful transition vehicle between e-bikes and cars…”

IDTechEx is not the only player asking questions about the future of electric vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Consumers themselves are asking whether EVs are worth the investment; they’re looking for the value add to themselves and to society as a whole. If IDTechEx is correct, Micro EVs, though not as much of a factor in North America, could indirectly affect the region depending on how EV manufacturers decide to move forward in the foreseeable future.

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