The battle over whether electric vehicles (EVs) are a smart purchase and will end up growing as a category is a fierce one. Detractors cite range anxiety, high initial cost, lack of performance and lack of sexy design as issues EVs face to common adoption. In fact, most articles worrying about EV adoption rates focus on the effect they have on individual consumers. And yet, the surprise is that individual consumers aren’t the largest market for EV sales.

The bigger market for EVs comes via industrial and commercial sales.


Surprised? Industrial and commercial EV sales have outstripped sales to individuals by $2 billion of late. And forecasting firm IDTechEx says they’ll outsell individual sales by $154 billion over the next ten years.

Why the difference? Because saving money with hybrid and electric drives helps a company’s bottom line. And companies, unlike individuals, can afford large up-front payments if it means saving money down the road, one of the dilemmas alternative systems face. As far as style, corporations are more worried about function. And as for speed, again, corporations don’t need Teslas. They want taxis, or fleet vehicles. Or even large construction equipment that uses hybrid engines to save money, as the study notes, “almost all earthmoving and lifting vehicles use the conventional internal combustion engine. That is about to change dramatically because hybrid electric versions reduce cost of ownership and exposure to price hikes with fossil fuels.”

In other words, beancounters will have a tremendous impact on the adoption of electric drives throughout the world.

To see more about IDTechEx’s document, graphs, and forecasts, you can visit the white paper here.