When people think of electric vehicles, they think of Tesla. But if you want to see the future of EVs it’s important to look elsewhere. Despite glowing media reports, Tesla is not disruptive, and it will have trouble scaling as it seeks to grow. However, there are disruptive EV companies out there; you just have to know where to look. Those companies are at the bottom of the market, ignored by the mainstream but thriving in applications where customers don’t need all of the features of a traditional automobile, or in specific applications where EVs perform better than traditional vehicles.
There are two categories of disruptive EVs: low-speed electric vehicles and electric utility vehicles (EUVs). Low-speed EVs are consumer vehicles built on platforms mostly derived from golf carts and all-terrain vehicles. EUVs come in a range of sizes and formats, from small, light-duty platforms to full-size, heavy-duty trucks, but all are battery-powered and driven by electric motors. Low-speed EVs and EUVs are currently inferior to their traditional counterparts in almost every way. They can’t drive very far, go very fast or haul nearly as much. At first glance, they’re vastly deficient and don’t even meet the minimum performance criteria for most customers.
But there are applications for which these vehicles are actually better suited than their traditional counterparts. Consider low-speed EVs and the golfing communities and college campuses for which they’re best known (in the United States). For short trips around a development, they are actually more desirable than cars; they don’t create tailpipe or noise pollution; they’re slow, increasing pedestrian safety; and they’re cheap to buy and charge. Range and comfort limitations aren’t important factors because they’re only used for short trips in good weather. Full-size cars would be overkill for applications like this. Read More >>>