Pike Research has released a new report predicting a rise in the low-speed electric vehicle market (devices limited to around 25 miles per hour), growing from 37,000 units currently sold each year to 55,000 units annually by the year 2017, reaching a total of almost 700,000 vehicles on the road.
According to the firm, the small electric vehicles, also called the somewhat generic sounding “neighborhood EVs,” were first deployed on a large scale over ten years ago as a potential way to comply with the zero emissions guidelines of the California Air Resources Board.
Pike Research has found that because most low-speed electric vehicles are equipped with lead acid batteries, they can be powered at a rate of $100 to $100 per kilowatt hour, making them less expensive than other types, such as lithium-ion batteries.
Recently, we noted that North Dakota based small electric car company GEM was sold by Chrysler to an off-road vehicle company called Polaris, which plans to expand the acquisition. Companies like GEM in North America, Pike Research predicts, will account for approximately 45% of the entire low-speed electric vehicle industry in the next five years.