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Electric Vehicles (EV) in Defense – Thematic Research

Pages: 58 Published: October 29, 2021 Report Code: GDDEF-TR-S047

The demand for greener military practices is pushing armed forces to look for greener technologies – with electric vehicles (EVs) being a potentially valuable asset. The sustainable nature of EVs adds to other technological advantages such as reduced thermal and acoustic signatures, making their use even more of an attractive alternative to traditional fossil fueled vehicles. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are leading the way within the electrification arena by offering many of the benefits of fully electric vehicles, without the infrastructural drawbacks. Concerns remain over how to charge deployed EVs without access to charging points, and how safe batteries would be when used in a combat setting. As such, the focus strongly remains on HEVs with their deployment likely to become a reality even before EVs reach later stages of development.

By the end of 2020, there were 10 million electrified vehicles on the road globally, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). This has risen dramatically from 2015’s figure of slightly more than one million units, and from the mere tens of thousands on the road in 2010. These figures include plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Global unit sales of electric vehicles in 2020 grew by 50% compared with 2019. That growth is especially impressive considering the industry overall saw declines in both sales and production of vehicles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. EV’s resilience in the face of this market pressure is a promising signal for their future sales.

Overview of global electric vehicles market

Overview of global electric vehicles market

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What are the key regions in the electric vehicles market?

China moved faster than other nations to secure EV raw material supplies and production capacity. This is driven by the Chinese government’s determination that battery electric vehicles were of strategic importance to China’s economy on a global scale, and the associated grants and support entailed by that. China has aggressively built out its EV production capacity, with all the major Chinese automakers now offering multiple electrified models.

Unsurprisingly, China also dominates the landscape for EV production as the largest market for the technology. However, this domination has been gradually eroded as the appetite for EVs in other regional markets has increased and the need to build out more regional production arises. In 2020, though China accounted for the majority of EV production, but significant growth has taken place in Europe. This reflects the growth of new EV production in Europe with notable examples including Volkswagen’s new ID EV production line in Wolfsburg and the acceleration of Nissan Leaf production in Sunderland, UK. Central and Eastern Europe are likely to see EV production growth in the future, in line with existing growth in automotive production in the region. This is thanks to its proximity to the entire European market combined with lower wage costs in those countries compared with Western Europe.

What are the market dynamics of electric vehicles in the defense market?

Electric vehicles have the potential to transform the capabilities of armored vehicles and logistical and tactical trucks. Their adoption into the armed forces is quickly becoming a reality and whilst there are technical stumbling blocks to be resolved before EVs are used in a combat setting, the new technology is already being utilized in some barracks. Issues such as weight restrictions, charging options, and safety concerns are hampering the quick uptake of EVs into the arsenals of armed forces globally. Currently, the US army is the primary military user of any EV, and even in these instances usage is restricted to small logistical vehicles used for transport in barracks. Due to the issues mentioned above, it is also likely that any near-term wider adoption would rely on hybrid technologies due to limitations of the current battery and charging capabilities.

One area of investment that has received less attention within EVs but is growing and has the potential to help solve issues related to deployed charging, is the development of miniature nuclear reactors or small modular reactors (SMRs). The idea for their use would be to offer a power source from which EVs can be charged, especially when deployed in combat; sometimes there is no power grid that can be accessed, and it would reduce the need for lengthy and vulnerable supply chains.

What are the key segments in electric vehicle value chain?

The electric vehicle value chain has been segmented into hardware, software, and services. However, much of the vehicle’s value is currently flowing away from hardware and towards software and services.

The hardware segment is further categorized into batteries, semiconductors, auto components, and assembly. The software segment is further categorized into autonomous driving systems and infotainment. The services segment comprises charging stations.

Which are the leading defense companies focusing on electric vehicles?

The leading defense companies focused on electric vehicles include Oshkosh Defense, BAE Systems, QinetiQ, RBSL, General Dynamics, NP Aerospace and GM Defense.

Electric vehicles in defense market, by key companies

Electric vehicles in defense market, by key companies

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Market report scope

Market size (Year – 2020) 10 million units
Base year for estimation 2020
Forecast period 2020-2035
Key Value Chain segments Hardware, Software, and Services
Key Defense Companies Oshkosh Defense, BAE Systems, QinetiQ, RBSL, General Dynamics, NP Aerospace, GM Defense
Key Battery Providers LG Energy Solution, CATL, Panasonic, Samsung SDI and BYD.

This report is a thematic analysis of the electric vehicles market.

  • This report provides key themes in electric vehicles in defense development are established, both in terms of defense trends, technology trends, regulatory trends, and macroeconomic trends.
  • In particular this report identifies market trends jover the next 24 months, outlining which sectors are likely to benefit from increased spending on electric vehicles in defense.
  • This report is part of our ecosystem of thematic investment research reports, supported by our “thematic engine”.

Reasons to Buy

  • Determine potential investment opportunities based on trend analysis and market projections.
  • Gain an understanding of the market surrounding the electric vehicle theme.
  • To strengthen your understanding of the market in terms of demand drivers, industry trends, and the latest technological developments, among others.

Key Players

Alion Science and Technology
BAE Systems
Burns and McDonnell
BWX Technologies
Canadensys Aerospace
China National Nuclear Corporation
Coritech Services
Fermata Energy
General Dynamics
GM Defense
HIPPO Multipower
LeadCold Reactors
NP Aerospace
NuScale Power
Oshkosh Defense
Otokar Otomotiv ve Savunma Sanayi
PC Krause and Associates
Pratt Miller Defense
QinetiQ Group
Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL)
Terrestrial Energy
Tritium Technologies
Westinghouse Electric Companies
Wright Electric

Table of Contents

Executive summary


Technology briefing


Industry analysis

Impact on Defense

Value chain



Further reading

Our thematic research methodology

About GlobalData

Contact Us

List of Tables

Technology trends

Macroeconomic trends

Regulatory trends

Defense trends


Companies:Competitve Position

Defense Companies:Competitve Position


Further reading

List of Figures

Who are the leading players and upcoming challengers in the electric vehicle landscape?

Automotive industry survey results on Tesla’s advantage

Tesla to increase production by building out regional manufacturing

EV powertrains as a proportion of all new powertrains, 2015-2035

Regional share of EVs on the road 2015 vs 2020

Regional share of EV production 2015 vs 2020

Lithium carbonate equivalent demand by product 2015 vs 2021 forecast

China’s share of production stages of Li-ion battery manufacturing (%)

Tesla vs key rivals 2020 sales

Tesla vs key rivals May 2021 market capitalization

The electric vehicle value chain

The electric vehicle technology stack: battery raw materials

The electric vehicle technology stack: battery components

The electric vehicle technology stack: lithium-ion batteries

The electric vehicle technology stack: semiconductors

The electric vehicle technology stack: drivetrains

The electric vehicle technology stack: auto component suppliers

The electric vehicle technology stack: assembly

The electric vehicle technology stack: charging stations

Frequently Asked Questions

The total electric vehicles market size was 10 million units in 2020.






The electric vehicle value chain is segmented into hardware, software and services.

The leading defense companies focused on electric vehicles include Oshkosh Defense, BAE Systems, QinetiQ, RBSL, General Dynamics, NP Aerospace and GM Defense.

Leading companies in the defense electric vehicle market include Wright Electric, Alion Science and Technology Corp, X-Energy, BWX Technologies, China National Nuclear Corporation, and Coritech Services.

The major companies in the electric vehicles in the defense market include LG Energy Solution, CATL, Panasonic, Samsung SDI and BYD.


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