Ford Transit Connect ElectricElectric vehicle (EV) market introductions will get into high gear in 2011, accompanied by the arrival of charging station networks. During the course of 2011 many consumers will form their early impressions of the EV driving experience. Pike Research has prepared a white paper that makes 10 predictions about how the market will unfold during 2011. This is a summary of five of the 10 predicitions:

  1. The majority of people who drive a plug-in vehicle won’t own it. Forty thousand PEVs are forecasted to be sold and leased in 2011 adding to the existing fleet of freeway-speed and slow-speed electric vehicles. Many EV are in corporate fleets, government fleets, car share, car rental, and taxi fleets.
  2. Automakers will get pushback from EV owners regarding the length of time it takes to fully charge a vehicle.  Until SAE standards are finalized, the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, and others will charge at 3.3 kW/hour instead of faster Level 2 charging rates.
  3. Stop-start vehicles will arrive in the United States, albeit in small numbers. It is interesting that Pike would include this in a report about Electric Vehicles. Clean Fleet Report does not consider stop-start vehicles to be electric vehicles or even hybrid-electric. The report states, “For the added cost of $300 to $500, stop-start vehicles will cut the engine when the brakes are applied and when the vehicle is stopped, providing a fuel savings of 8% to 15% over traditional vehicles. Stop-start vehicles, which use a larger battery or ultracapacitors to store energy for starting the vehicle, are not hybrids because they do not have an electric motor.”
  4. Many EV charging stations will spend the majority of their time idle.
  5. Fuel cell vehicles will be sold to fleets and consumers in small but growing numbers. Fuel cells can provide added electricity to extend the range of an electric vehicle. After the successful pilots in fleets of a few hundred by dozens of vehicle makers, Daimler will put 200 of the B-Class fuel cell vehicle into global fleets.

The paper also includes an interesting discussion about EV charging stations, range anxiety, and electric two-wheel vehicles. A free copy of this 10-page paper can be downloaded here.