While the overall market for neighborhood electric vehicles, also known as low-speed electric vehicles, is small compared to other types of electric transport, the number of NEVs sold globally reached 58,822 in 2009, the highest figure in a decade.
Over the next several years, trends in both housing (including the growth of planned communities and densely populated “New Urban” communities) and demographics (the aging of the population in many countries) are expected to spur renewed interest in these low-cost vehicles. Many developers are planning more densely populated communities with town centers and green space that can easily accommodate NEVs. In fact, the growth rate for NEVs is expected to double that of the total light duty vehicle market during the same period.
According to a recent report from Pike Research, the total number of NEVs on the world’s roadways will grow from 479,000 in 2011 to 695,000 by 2017, a 45 percent increase. Annual NEV sales will rise from 37,000 vehicles to nearly 55,000 units by 2017, and North America will account for 45 percent of worldwide sales.
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