Latest research shows that the market for personal electric vehicles is expected to exceed US$12 billion by 2027, far greater than previous estimates.
And self-balancing machines like the Centaur, which goes into production later this year, will command about 12 per cent of this huge sector, with projected sales by the same time of more than $US1.4 billion a year.
Sales of personal electric vehicles (PEVs) in 2024 are now expected to rise to US$9 billion, rather than $7.5 billion.
The main trend behind this increase is the continued global growth of an ageing population, particularly in both Europe and the USA. Despite the debilitating effects of age, this group is marked by a demand for an improved lifestyle and better mobility. Crucially, it has the means to pay for it.
“Market growing faster than we thought.”
British start-up Centaur Robotics is raising £1.5 million in exchange for an equity stake of 23 per cent. Sales will target this group of the reluctantly old.
The research also reveals that people are shifting away from manual wheelchairs in favour of electric vehicles which offer greater independence, multiple functions and easier operation.
Philip Poyner, the finance director of Centaur Robotics, said: “This research underpins our original understanding of the market, that we are in the right space at the right time. We thought there was a gap in the market and this report validates that assumption.”
The research, which was carried out by business intelligence consultants Coherent Market Insights and commissioned by Centaur Robotics, estimates the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the global electric wheelchair market to be 10.4 per cent.
“The research also shows that the market is growing at a faster pace than we thought,” Mr Poyner added.
The Centaur is a beautifully designed PEV with a tight turning circle and a chair that can lift the user to eye level. It will go into production in the UK later this year and will initially be sold direct to consumers, although hospitals, care homes and transport hubs will be major customers.
According to the research, the care sector will be the largest market, with hospitals, clinics and care homes expected to spend about $US11 billion on electric wheelchairs by 2027.
The Centaur was created by an award-winning team of designers and engineers and was recently awarded £50,000 by the British government’s innovation agency Innovate UK for its ability to minimise contact between patients and carers and cut down the risk of infections like Covid-19.
Investors can join Centaur Robotics on its journey through fundraising platform Crowdcube (capital at risk).
The funds will help complete the sales pipeline, finalise the technology and ensure production of the first 1,000 units.