Power Electronics

Industrial and Commercial Electric Vehicles - Prosperous Rise to $185 Billion

IDTechEx's recently updated report, "Industrial and Commercial Electric Vehicles 2015-2025" forecasts the number, ex-factory price and total market value for eleven sectors, an unprecedented level of detail. New sectors emerge with different applicational, technical, geographic and cost characteristics. This is a story of both hybrid and pure EVs made and applied in new ways. An extensive components chapter explains why large supercapacitors are sometimes replacing batteries or protecting and enhancing fuel cells, why there are now new power electronic components and new forms of energy harvesting, range extender and so on.

"A shakeout is now taking place with giants jockeying for position partly by broadening their repertoire," explains Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx. "John Deere, Komatsu and Caterpillar offer mining, agricultural and construction vehicles that are gradually being electrified for better functional operation and control, reduced total cost of ownership and compliance with new pollution directives."

Another benefit is intimate integration of handling functions with the propulsion power train. Komatsu, Nissan and Toyota are major players in intralogistics vehicles, with Nissan and Toyota big in on-road commercial. There is major potential to prosper by organic growth and many more acquisitions, standardizing components and platforms for economy of scale and improved brand image. Those involved broadly across the EV sector will have advantages in adopting new technologies viably.

Components see disruptive change and integration. Most vehicles in the sector are large and not bought primarily on upfront price so it is easier to innovate. Examples include 700V systems, in-wheel motors, trials of energy harvesting shock absorbers powering active suspension, switched reluctance motors and silicon carbide power components taking over in the power electronics. Caterpillar researches energy harvesting of movement in all three axes and Komatsu tests 1.5 kW thermoelectrics.

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