Light electric Vehicles are the future of European mobility

Electric vehicles are often described as the vehicles of the future, both by forecasters as experts. Now this is a very broad assumption, because there are lot of electric vehicles out there with all different backgrounds, goals and target audiences. We at Bicle wanted to have a look at what is called the light electric vehicles (LEV): what is a light electric vehicle and when can you call an electric vehicle, a light electric vehicle? In answering those two questions, we focus on the market in Europe.

Electric vehicle

Electric mobility - and in this instance electric vehicles - relate to the electrification of the automotive powertrain. In many reports such as the Electric vehicles in Europe: gearing up for a new phase? Report by McKinsey & company. The electric vehicle is referred to as all vehicles for which an electric motor is the primary source of propulsion. This includes several types of electric vehicles such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), but excludes (conventional) hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) as stated in the report by McKinsey. But we will focus on the light electric vehicle.


The definition give something away about the meaning, but light electric vehicles are vehicles that in general are lighter in using power. Generally speaking they have two or four wheels and are powered by a battery, fuel cell or are hybrid powered. The Light Electric Vehicle Association describes LEV as follows: “A Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) is a land vehicle propelled by an electric motor that uses an energy storage device such as a battery or fuel cell, has two or three wheels, and typically weighs less than 100kg. Most LEVs are and will remain ebikes.“    

LEV in Europe

Europe as in the EU and the European industry as a whole, have ambitious plans with the electric vehicles. The use of electric vehicles in 2014 was 0,03% and that’s something the European Environment Agency wants to see changed in the years to come. At the mid of this twenty first century (2050) the agency foresees a growth of the use of electric vehicles. In 2050 9,5% usage will be that of electric vehicles. In 2017 the global market for electric vehicles passed the mark of one million sold electric vehicles, but the European market is not exactly satisfied with that. The European market want to sparkle a growth in the production and consumption of electric vehicles, because China’s market is now bigger than Europe’s and United States combined.

To grow in the global market, the European market has to tackle a few problems to get to the stature of the Chinese market. One of these problems is the infrastructure. The infrastructure of light electric vehicles is not optimized for the quantity of light electric vehicles and is mainly optimized for the use of regular vehicles.

Light electric vehicles are a fundamental part of the electric vehicles in Europe and the European market wants to grow. In doing so it needs to tackle some issues. If it succeeds in doing exactly that, the European Environment Agency will be content too.

What do you think that needs to change for Europe to become a bigger player in the light electric vehicle market? Let us know!