Electric Vehicles that Do Not Need the Grid: Is this Next?

Jan. 25, 2017
A report out today by IDTechEx forecasts potential for a $100 billion market for electric vehicles that do not need the grid, but rely on their own power supply like solar and wind.

A new report by IDTechEx forecasts potential for a $100 billion market for electric vehicles that do not need the grid, but rely on their own power supply like solar and wind.

The report calls these energy independent electric vehicles, or EIVs.

EIVs were nothing more than a curiosity just five years ago, “too weak to lead to anything generally useful,” says an executive summary of the report. But now both a solar plane and solar boat have rounded the world.

The report says EIV golf carts, small buses and passenger boats are on the market.  Meanwhile, solar dirigibles for heavy lifting and long distance transport are being prepared for sale. Several solar cars may be ready for use as soon as 2020. Boats are in development that are entirely powered by electricity from on-board wind turbines, solar, tide and waves, the report says.

EIVs will employ multi-mode energy harvesting, extreme powertrain efficiency, light-weighting, streamlining and other new advances, says the report.

The vehicles have little, if any, use for electric utilities and charging stations. Less battery may be needed – sometimes no battery at all.

Electric vehicles that do not need the grid offer a lot of market potential — even more than automated vehicles, says the report. EIV technology is likely to transform both vehicles driven by humans and automated vehicles.

Not surprisingly, the military is now exploring EIVs for unmanned military and non-military aircraft that will stay aloft for 5-10 years – energy independent. But EIVs also conjure up some unusual, more immediate markets. Stay tuned food trucks. An Italian pizza van does all its travel and cooking with energy it generates itself. The report says that the van uses unfolding solar plus a telescopic, unfurling wind turbine used when it is stationary.

A free executive summary is here of the report, Energy Independent Electric Vehicles Land, Water, Air 2017-2037.

Follow Microgrid Knowledge on Twitter @MicrogridNews

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

Twitter: @ElisaWood

LinkedIn: Elisa Wood

Facebook:  Microgrids

Exploring the Potential of Community Microgrids Through Three Innovative Case Studies

April 8, 2024
Community microgrids represent a burgeoning solution to meet the energy needs of localized areas and regions. These microgrids are clusters of interconnected energy resources,...

Grid Beyond Wp Cover 2023 01 06 12 24 33

Global Energy Trends 2023

Over 2021-22, environmental, macro-economic, and geopolitical shocks have put the global energy transition under pressure.