Micro Electric Vehicles or Micro EV’s are one of the most unique and significant mode of transportation that address major trends; they are indeed the pioneers of energy independent travel. These machines not only bridge the gap between an electric car and an e-bike, they also help the growing urban population in dealing with the epidemic of pollution and energy depletion. Micro EV’s provide emerging nations with a healthy and smart vehicle choice, help small independent manufacturers and often perform several tasks in airports, zoos as well as amusement parks.
Micro EVs also become a safer travelling option for some, they are not required to meet crash tests or other car homologation requirements. Several countries even allow minors and those with no license or insurance to drive them, embracing All-Terrain Vehicles, Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs), Quadricycles, Microcars and so on. These machines are much simpler than cars and often much cheaper, almost one tenth of the price. With many Micro EVs available as four wheelers, they sometimes take the form of a three wheeler in the main design, including ‘farmers’ cars’ in China, ‘e-rickshaws’ in India, and ‘e-tuktuks’ in the Philippines.
Since, it’s possible for Micro EV’s to be extremely light-weighted, they are the first categories to spawn energy independent vehicles (EIVs) that require neither plug-ins nor fill-ups. So far, most of these Micro EV’s involve solar cells that are an inclusive load bearing part of the body. The MEV’s are being designed in a way that their basic ‘structural electronics’ replace the old “stuff-in-a-box” style. Though not as amazing as the promise to ‘build solar cities’, or ‘colonize mars’, Micro EV’s do promises a window towards what can be the future of transportation. The effort can be counted as a baby step, towards a future of smart and eco-friendly technology that would lead towards the dream of sustainability.
Recently in their latest reports, ‘Global Micro Electric Vehicle Market 2016-2020’, research giant Technavio predicts that the global micro electric vehicle sector will see a steady growth during the next four years and by 2020 post a CAGR of more than 17%. The research analysis identified technological advancements in Li-ion batteries as one of the primary growth factors that would lead to the increase in reliability and reduction in maintenance costs for the micro electric vehicles market. Since MEV’s are majorly designed for low maintenance, the development and adoption of advanced batteries will drive their market growth.
Development of ‘ultra-capacitors’ for superfast charging is one of the major trends that will gain traction in this market. Analysts also believe that removal of one’s need to wait for numerous hours before one could have a charged battery, will also prove to be a huge factor that would channel the growth of MEV markets.
While electric vehicles comprise of only one percent of the global automobile industry, their sale and manufacture has shot up by 49% in the year 2016 itself. Majorly looked-upon as the choice of Environment Enthusiast and Energy Nazi’s, EV’s are becoming a popular option amongst short-distance commuters and urban youth, because of their low costs and out-of-the-box designs.
The rapidly growing Micro EV market is characterized by the presence of several automobile companies who have a wide product catalogue. Owing to the possibilities and a large market potential of these machines, developed countries like the US and Canada have a number of well-established electric car manufacturers of golf carts and micro-cars. While, the European market is dominated by electric Quadricycles manufacturers. Due to the presence of several well-established and competitive companies, the market’s environment is intense. Additionally, regional and local car manufacturers also pose a heavy threat to the international vendors, as they offer products at competitive prices and sometimes even an option to customize. Whereas, international players are busy investing in research and development programs to help them create smart and innovative products, they are also trying to grab in and acquire regional and local vendors that could enhance their global presence.
The leading vendors in the market being - Ingersoll Rand, Polaris Industries, Smart Automobile Company, Textron, Yamaha Motors and other prominent vendors in the market are Italcar, Rhoades Car and ParCar.