The seven largest companies participating in the event, "Electric Vehicles Land Sea Air" in Stuttgart 28-29 June have a total sales value exceeding $570 billion. Clearly the gorillas of industry are intimately involved in electric vehicles. That includes the largest aerospace, automotive, chemical, electrical, and engineering manufacturers. They cannot afford to miss the opportunity of a $500 billion new business in the making.
However, there is a paradox here. The pundits forecast no more than 20% of all cars made in 2021 being electric, that figure including both hybrid and pure electric versions: most of the car industry is very slow to change. The explanation of the huge potential lies in the fact that electric cars are only about half of the value of the market today and that will still be true in ten years time. Another factor is the fact that the larger electric vehicles are up to 65% more expensive to buy than the conventional equivalent, boosting the market value. Fortunately, these larger EVs typically have a much lower cost of subsequent ownership than the conventional versions.
By 2021, the overall electric vehicle market will have grown over fourfold, according to analysts IDTechEx who are staging the event. Indeed that is why it uniquely covers the whole subject. For instance, one of the giant participants is EADS, arch rival of Boeing which is also making electric aircraft albeit on a trial basis as yet. Smaller companies are actually selling pure electric aircraft already.
It is educative that the companies participating in the electric vehicle market are increasingly doing it in several ways. For example, speaker Intelligent Energy has its fuel cells driving aircraft, taxis and motorcycles. Siemens AG is involved in hybrid electric trains, traction motors, state of the art fast charging stations and much more in the electric vehicle space. Tata, including Tata Motors Europe subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover, is electrifying military and family vehicles but also its Jaguar supercar. Whether by land, water or air, electric vehicles need motors, controls, batteries and often supercapacitors (ultracapacitors) and advanced structural composites. Marine vehicles, military vehicles and oddly buses are often the first to innovate in electric vehicle design and componentry.
The next wave of electric vehicle technology will include supercabatteries, third generation lithium-ion traction batteries, printed electronics and electrics, smart skin and multiple ways of converting sun, movement and so on into kilowatts of electricity to help to charge the traction battery. They will be applied where appropriate and where innovation is most eagerly embraced, whether in an aircraft, airship, boat, underwater vehicle, on-road or off-road vehicle.
It is therefore lunacy to obsess about the car applications in isolation particularly as cars are sometimes last to adopt the new electric vehicle technologies. This event gives equal emphasis to all electric vehicles and it surfaces the best practice wherever it occurs. The future trends are a particular focus.
Hear the views of GM Opel, Dow, EADS, Tata, Daimler, Mitsubishi Electric and Siemens but also the most exciting smaller participants from across the world. At the first such event - in San Jose USA in December - delegates particularly appreciated meeting industry leaders new to them. Benchmarking across industries was the order of the day. So it will be in Stuttgart, with the exhibition, visits, conference and other attractions covering the whole subject. Meet the people you should be meeting not the "usual suspects" at Electric Vehicles - Land Sea Air Europe 2011 .