The ever evolving marine electric vehicles (EVs) market has been forecast to reach a value of $6.3 billion in 2023, rising from a total of $2.6 billion in 2013.
The market is unusually varied with average unit prices increasing as larger craft are electrified to improve cost over life, performance, green credentials and for other reasons. The market includes on-water and underwater electric vehicles for inland waterways and the sea.
According to a recent market report, 'Electric Boats, Small Submarines and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) 2013-2023: Forecasts, Players, Opportunities,' military electric craft represent the largest market sector by value today but e-workboats and other, smaller market sub-sectors will increase their share of market by value through the coming decade.
A number of factors look set to drive growth within the market including the introduction of further green laws, help leisure and commercial/industrial marine EV sectors to grow.
For example, pure-electric craft benefit from laws that increasingly ban polluting alternatives on inland waterways. Plug-in hybrid powertrains will be favoured for the larger seagoing boats to save cost and improve reliability and performance over ones with conventional engines.
By contrast, a substantial new market is being created by the advent of powerful, pure-electric outboard motors.
Certain marine electric craft are ahead of land and air electric vehicles in variously using lithium-ion traction batteries with greatest energy storage, the latest CIGS flexible solar cells (predecessor of multilayer smart skin explained in the text) and in being deployed for years at a time without human intervention. For example, only boats carry up to 150 people on solar power alone.
Only seagoing "glider" Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are deployed for years without human intervention, coming to the surface when necessary to harvest electric power from both waves and sun.
A key challenge currently facing the industry is the extreme fragmentation of the market. This can make it uneconomical for many manufacturers to fit the new lithium-ion batteries, to take one example, because buying less than ten or so is disproportionately expensive.
For more information on the marine electric vehicles market, see the latest research: Marine Electric Vehicles Market
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