“The success of hybrid vehicles in the 2000s gave drivers a taste for propulsion by electric power,” says senior analyst John Gartner, “and governments around the world are now highly focused on creating the charging infrastructure to support the arrival of EVs in significant numbers.”
Gartner expects that by 2015, more than 3.1 million EVs, including plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars, will be sold worldwide.
Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the market for EV charging equipment is likely to become increasingly crowded by the end of 2011. While the initial wave of vendors was led by niche vendors such as AeroVironment, Better Place, Coulomb Technologies, and ECOtality, heavyweight technology players such as GE, Panasonic, Samsung, and Siemens are now making bold moves into the space.
Since initiating its coverage of the EV charging equipment sector in 2009, Pike Research has downgraded its forecast slightly to the current level of 4.7 million charge points installed between 2010 and 2015, from its original estimate of 5 million charging stations during that period. Gartner comments that this is due to a somewhat slower projected rate of sales for EVs, in addition to the continued lack of a clear business model for public charging stations. “The economics of selling a few kilowatt hours per charge are very challenging, and as such we anticipate that public charging station deployments will be driven mainly by government initiatives over the next several years.”[source: Pike Research]