Working towards vehicles that could run forever

6th October 2015
Nat Bowers

Forget the obsession with driverless autonomous cars; Energy Independent Vehicles (EIV) are the new megatrend according to the IDTechEx Research report Energy Independent Vehicles 2016-2026, which explores the latest developments in the booming energy autonomous vehicle industry. By Franco Gonzalez, Senior Technology Analyst, IDTechEx.

Electric land vehicles, boats, underwater craft and aircraft already exist that never plug in or refuel. Most use solar cells for their power, storing the power for night use. They are not without shortcomings - few use bad weather harvesting and they waste much of the captured energy as heat. However, the good news is that these weaknesses can be fixed.

Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman, IDTechEx, commented: “Taken together, the multiple uses of energy harvesting for internal efficiency and for external sourcing of energy can give tenfold increase in performance by 2025. Structural electronics will take it further. Already, autonomous underwater vehicles already surface to convert solar and wave power. Even remote regions and developing countries will afford EIVs with near-zero operating cost and ultimate freedom of use. Today's demonstrations and plans shows this will encompass on- and off-road vehicles, boats, ships, airships and fixed wing planes. It will not all happen overnight but here is a huge new industry in the making.”

The whole EV business is forecasted by IDTechEx to be around $400bn in 2026, rising strongly thereafter. As outlined in Energy Independent Vehicles 2016-2026, IDTechEx expects that electric energy independent vehicles will become an increasingly significant part of this multi-billion dollar industry.

The report provides unique insight into electrical EIVs on land, on water, underwater and in the air with the EV market addressable by energy independence technology forecasted in 45 categories. It also explains how self-powered, zero-pollution vehicles will increasingly use many forms of high power energy harvesting.

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