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Analyst firm IDTechEx forecasts that the market for electric motors for electric vehicles (EVs) will reach USD 42.7 billion by 2023. Interestingly the firm reckons that the market for the motors will grow slightly faster than the market for the vehicles themselves.
Industrial and commercial electric vehicles on land are now particularly attractive to motor manufacturers. IDTechEx believes that they should be a priority for traction motor manufacturers due to their robust margins in a secure, large and growing market.
Private individuals rarely buy these vehicles and they rarely depend on government subsidies and tax breaks that can disappear. Like the vehicles in this sector, the motors here are rarely bought on up-front price, the criteria being cost-over-life, reliability and performance. Motor suppliers can enjoy improved margins provided they supply what is needed - not the oversupplied commutator DC motors for example.
Almost all EVs in the industrial and commercial sector will have one traction motor per vehicle. There will be 706,000 pure electric forklifts sold in 2020, almost all for indoor use where internal combustion is usually illegal. The firm forecasts that there will be 750,000 other heavy industrial vehicles and 110,000 electric buses; together with 377,000 light industrial and commercial electric vehicles - delivery vehicles and off-road versions such as airport ground support equipment.
IDTechEx Chairman, Dr Peter Harrop comments: "The industrial and commercial sector, that now drives such a high percentage of profits of traction motor manufacturers, consists of heavy industrial vehicles which are mainly forklifts but with other sectors coming up fast - earthmoving, mining, agricultural and outdoor self-propelled electric cranes. Add to that buses and light electric vehicles including trucks and custom made taxis. Industrial companies buy the heavy electric vehicles, meaning heavy lifting or pushing, but government (including local government), often purchases light electric commercial vehicles. Buses are boosted by the plan of the Chinese government to use and export them in huge numbers".
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