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Solar Vehicle Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

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  • 60 Pages
  • July 2021
  • Region: Global
  • Mordor Intelligence
  • ID: 4987227

The solar vehicle market was valued at USD 205 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 680 million by 2026. The market is anticipated to register a CAGR of 18% during the forecast period (2021-2026)

The COVID-19 outbreak has pushed several challenges on the automotive sector. Production shortfalls resulting from supply chain disruptions worldwide may impact global automakers. As the economies are recovering from the repercussions of the pandemic, the manufacturers are aiming for steady business growth. Now, as the demand comes back on stream, companies are trying to adjust production and supplies to customers.

As technology is improving day by day, it is pushing the R&D capabilities of the automobile sector. Due to environmental norms, the focus of automakers is shifting toward alternative energy sources. One such reliable source is solar power. Though solar-powered vehicles are in developmental stages for very long, the pace is picking up over the last few years. Solar-assisted vehicles are soon to be in production and use.

Currently, solar vehicles can be classified as a type of hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). The limited range of EVs has hindered innovations in the field of HEVs, and manufacturers are leaving no stoned unturned in increasing the range of these HEVs using ancillary power sources. In the case of solar vehicles, solar films mounted on the vehicle’s roof are the source of power that helps to charge the battery. Decreasing prices, increased efficiency, and technological innovations in solar panels are also some of the driving factors for the solar vehicle market. Better and efficient battery storage options will also help the market grow, as they will help retain the converted power for a longer time. Efficient battery management systems also play a key role in driving the market forward.

The market for mono-crystalline solar films is expected to be higher as they are more efficient compared to poly-crystalline films and automobiles demand higher efficiency for better charging times for the batteries. North America and Europe are expected to be the dominant markets, as most of the research around these vehicles is happening in these regions.

Key Market Trends

Stringent Vehicle Emission Norms and Regulations are Driving the Demand for Hybrid Vehicles

In order to create more efficient frameworks regarding emissions, many countries are creating sustainable environments for the automobile sector. The EU set new regulations for carbon dioxide emissions for new passenger cars and commercial vehicles. The 2020 package is a set of laws passed to ensure the EU meets its climate and energy targets for the year 2020. The package sets three key targets: a 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels). The agreed-upon targets aim to reduce average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars by 20% in 2025 and by 37.5% in 2030, both relative to the 2021 base figure.

In March 2020, the United States EPA and NHTSA finalized the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule [4754], which relaxed the GHG emissions and CAFE standards for MY 2021-2026 vehicles. The 2020 rule increases the stringency of CAFE and CO2 emission standards by 1.5% each year through the model year 2026, while the CO2 standards issued in 2012 would have required increases of almost 5% per year.

Hybrid vehicles are helping manufacturers achieve these targets, and governments are awarding appropriate subsidies and rebates for the same. For instance, the Dutch government reduced the registration fees up to 7% for a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Similarly, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority announced ambitious plans for half of the emirate’s cabs to be hybrid vehicles by 2021. Even the Moroccan government announced that it would remove customs duties for hybrid and electric vehicles as part of a package of changes aimed at promoting eco-friendly cars. All these initiatives are expected to boost the solar vehicle market over the forecast period.

Passenger Cars Segment is Expected to Show the High Growth Rate

Passenger cars hold a major share in the solar-powered vehicles market. Many automakers are unveiling concept cars and prototypes, which are soon to be in production. Lightyear, a Dutch startup, developed the ‘Lightyear One’, a solar electric car with panels on the roof and bonnet which charge the vehicle. The car is expected to go into production by 2021, and it would be available at a price of around USD 149,000.

The German-based startup Sono Motors revealed the design of its solar electric car Sion where the battery can be charged using the electric grid or its own solar cells. The company announced its plans to start manufacturing the car by the end of 2022. Hyundai released a version of its 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid sedan that has solar film embedded on its roof to help charge the battery. Moreover, 60% of the total power for the car's battery could be gathered if the solar roof is used for 6 hours a day. This power salvaged is enough to propel the vehicle for around 1,300km (800miles) a year. All these developments are expected to help this segment grow considerably by 2026.

Competitive Landscape

The solar vehicle market is neither completely consolidated nor fragmented. As of now, very few players in the market have solar variants in their vehicle portfolio. Some manufacturers only have prototypes and are expected to release their production models over the coming few years. Most of the companies operating in this market are concentrated within the United States, Europe, and Asia. Ford, FCA, Volkswagen, General Motors, and Toyota are some of the global firms operating in this market.

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Table of Contents

1.1 Study Assumptions
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.1 Market Drivers
4.2 Market Restraints
4.3 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Force Analysis
4.3.1 Threat of New Entrants
4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers
4.3.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.3.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
5.1 Vehicle Type
5.1.1 Passenger Cars
5.1.2 Commercial Vehicles
5.2 Electric Vehicle Type
5.2.1 Battery Electric Vehicle
5.2.2 Hybrid Electric Vehicle
5.3 Battery Type
5.3.1 Lithium Ion
5.3.2 Lead Acid
5.3.3 Other Battery Types
5.4 Solar Panel Type
5.4.1 Mono-crystalline
5.4.2 Poly-crystalline
5.5 Geography
5.5.1 North America United States Canada Rest of North America
5.5.2 Europe Germany United Kingdom France Spain Rest of Europe
5.5.3 Asia-Pacific China Japan India Rest of Asia-Pacific
5.5.4 Rest of the World Brazil United Arab Emirates Other Countries
6.1 Vendor Market Share
6.2 Company Profiles
6.2.1 Lightyear
6.2.2 Sono Motors
6.2.3 Toyota Motor Corporation
6.2.4 Ford Motor Company
6.2.5 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
6.2.6 America Cruise Car
6.2.7 The Solar Electric Vehicle Company
6.2.8 Venturi Automobiles
6.2.9 Hanergy
6.2.10 Mahindra Electric Mobility Limited

Companies Mentioned (Partial List)

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes, but is not limited to:

  • Lightyear
  • Sono Motors
  • Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
  • America Cruise Car
  • The Solar Electric Vehicle Company
  • Venturi Automobiles
  • Hanergy
  • Mahindra Electric Mobility Limited