Sales of charging infrastructure and PEVs, including both plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles, got off to a slower-than-anticipated start in 2010, with only a few vehicles being delivered at the end of December.
2011 will be a year to make up for lost time, with rental fleets and car sharing programs playing an important role in providing many consumers with their first hands-on experience with a PEV, according to a new report from Pike Research.
Pike predicts that electric cars will serve as a secondary vehicle for most households, while plug-in hybrids, with their long driving range, can serve as the primary vehicle. The notion of range anxiety will be largely dispelled through a combination of driver education and the emergence of strategically placed charging spots. While charging stations were installed by the handful in pockets around the globe in 2010, 2011 will see the installation of hundreds of charging stations in cities such as London, Barcelona, San Francisco and Nashville.
While many of these charging stations are likely to be underutilized initially, by 2012 they will be in greater demand as owners begin to travel further with their vehicles and become more familiar with where and how often to charge.
Another electric vehicle category that will continue to develop is the fuel-cell vehicle, which will remain on its slow drive toward a planned commercial launch in 2015 through larger fleet and consumer evaluations.
According to Pike, two-wheel electric vehicles will see strong growth globally, and the market in North America is expected to grow by 27% in 2011.
Pike Research has identified 10 key trends that will steer the course of PEVs for the remainder of the decade. A few of Pike Research’s industry predictions include the following:
• “Range anxiety” will prove to be more fiction than fact.
• Automakers will get pushback from EV owners regarding the length of time it takes to fully charge a vehicle.
• Many EV charging stations will spend the majority of their time idle.
• The landscape for charging equipment will undergo a seismic shift as the category swiftly moves toward becoming a commodity market.
• The majority of people who drive a plug-in vehicle won’t own it.
• Fuel cell vehicles will be sold to fleets and consumers in small but growing numbers.