3.2 Million Electric Vehicles and 4.7 Million Charge Points Forecast for 2015

3.2 Million Electric Vehicles and 4.7 Million Charge Points Forecast for 2015

OAK Electric Car ChargingBy Pike Research (6/7/11)

A total of 3.2 million plug-in electric vehicles will be sold worldwide by 2015, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 106% is forecasted by Pike Research. Annual EV sales will cross the 1 million mark for the first time during the same year.

Pike Research forecasts that in the United States, the top cities for EV adoption between 2011 and 2017 will be New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Chicago. The electric utilities with the largest number of EVs in their service territories will be Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, Consolidated Edison, Exelon, and FPL Group.

Pike Research’s Electric Vehicle Consumer Survey finds that 43% of U.S. consumers would be “extremely” or “very” interested in purchasing an electric vehicle. However, the firm’s price sensitivity analysis concludes that consumers’ willingness to pay a premium for EVs is significantly below manufacturers’ expected prices.

More than 4.7 million EV charge points will be installed globally by 2015. Among EV supply equipment (EVSE) vendors, the proprietary Pike Pulse analytical methodology finds that Coulomb Technologies is the market leader in terms of both strategy and execution, followed by ECOtality.

Cyber security for EV charging systems is a challenge that remains largely unmet by the industry. Pike Research finds that the prevailing philosophy of the EV industry has been “build first, secure later,” an approach that poses many risks for financial transactions, customer privacy, and the integrity and reliability of the grid infrastructure.

Similarly, a lack of technical standards could hinder utilities’ readiness for EVs, though the industry is beginning to make progress in this area. The firm forecasts that investment in electric vehicle IT systems will reach $1.5 billion worldwide by 2015.

Details are in the Pike Research Electric Vehicles Advisory Service,  a subscription-based information suite that provides independent and objective market intelligence and strategy insights for companies and other organizations engaged in the rapidly evolving electric vehicle (EV) industry ecosystem. As part of the service, Pike Research’s global team of industry analysts cover key trends and growth scenarios for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and their enabling technologies such as EV charging station infrastructure, EV information technology systems, and EV battery technologies.

“The electrification of vehicles represents one of the most profound changes to the automotive industry in the past 100 years, both for consumer and fleet markets,” says Pike Research president Clint Wheelock. “As EVs are adopted in larger numbers in the coming decade, this transformation will not only affect drivers themselves, but also utilities, municipalities, and corporations across multiple industries, to name just a few.”

As part of its Electric Vehicles service, Pike Research’s industry analysts offer timely and actionable market insights, covering specific technology and business sectors as well as overall market conditions and trends. Research reports include an in-depth examination of business models, technology issues, policy and regulatory factors, the competitive landscape, and market sizing, segmentation and forecasting.

Electric Car Public Charging Stations – Range Solution or Battle Ground?

By Tom Bartley (5/12/11). Electric cars were meant to be charged at home during the off peak night time hours. Depending on a public charging station is going to be a real crap shoot. As the number of plugin cars increase, the EV drivers could grow to hate each other because of competition for a charger.

To put this in prospective, even a very expensive fast charger costing in the tens of thousands of dollars may only fill at a nominal 50 kW rate at a public station. A typical gasoline pump delivers fuel at a 10 MW rate and reducing it 80% because of the inefficiency of the engine is still 2 MW, 40 times the speed of a public fast charger, if you can find one.

The EV driver will have a lot more time to interact with other EV drivers at the charging station.  There could be a new form of a club to hang out and study alt fuel vehicles, or just hang out.  In any case waiting could be the name of the game and idle time seems to be the stimulus for new entrepreneurs.

What will you do if you have plugged into a public charger and a short time later your cell phone notifies you that your charging circuit has been disconnected?  You return to your car and find:

  1. A celebrity of fame and fortune has just plugged your connection into their new PHEV or EV car. What do you do?
    1. Ask for their autograph;
    2. Smile politely and say go ahead because you will wait the hour or more for them to charge;
    3. Start a conversation and try to get a date;
    4. Call the police;
    5. Start a confrontation to get your name in the papers;
    6. Text a complaint to one or more of your elected representatives;
    7. Call your attorney and ask him to file a damages suit against everyone that remotely has anything to do with the chargers;
    8. Say “Whatever” and walk away;
    9. Say “Oh well” and drive your car to another charging location if you can find one in range or;
    10. Call your therapist and cry over the phone.
    11. How would your reaction change if it were an NFL defensive end, “Guido”, your neighbor, your sales competitor, another member of your family?

Remember the Corvette “wave” to other Corvette drivers? I think the EV wave has a chance of using only one finger on your hand.

How are public chargers going to be assigned and reserved? How is it enforced? What are the consequences? Innovators like Coulomb Technologies are addressing all these issues but they face a legal challenge.

In California it is legally questionable whether a charge station provider can charge for the kWh energy delivered.  Some electric utilities want charge station providers to be regulated like utilities, a move that is likely to kill innovative young companies.

Assemblywoman and Speaker pro Tempore, Fiona Ma introduced legislation to provide market certainty for the infrastructure that is needed to support California’s electric vehicle consumer fleet. The legislation, Assembly Bill 631, will place into law a decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to not regulate electric vehicle charging stations as utilities. Assemblywoman Ma bill is strongly supported by organizations including the Environmental Defense Fund, Plug in America, the San Francisco California Apartment Association and the California Business Properties Association.

“Electric vehicles are the next generation of fuel for California’s green economy,” said Assemblywoman Ma. “AB 631 will provide the infrastructure to support President Obama’s goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.”

Even if AB 631 becomes law, what is the sustainable business proposition for the owner of the charger? How will if affect drivers’ behavior and the power grid operation?

Electric cars and plug-in hybrids are a great addition to alternative transportation choices, but dealing with the expectations of the availability of public chargers is going to be a bit dicey. Let’s all take a deep breath and figure out a way to make this work.