Electric vehicles are coming! Auto manufacturers have production plans, sales forecasts, and they show no inclination to wait for a charging infrastructure to be in place, and consumers have begun to show interest in a vehicle that is kinder to the environment and possibly much less expensive to operate.
However, as the industry prepares for a quickly increasing volume of electric car sales, solutions to some fundamental business problems for EV recharging have not yet been defined, and utilities and vendors alike are facing the challenge of securing the IT systems associated with EV charging infrastructure.
According to a new report from Pike Research, one of the major challenges that remain to be resolved is the question of implementing effective cyber security measures to ensure that EV charging transactions are safe and private. The new study finds that investment in EV cyber security systems will total $432 million during the period from 2011 to 2015.
“The prevailing philosophy of the EV industry has been to ‘build first, secure later,’” says senior analyst Bob Lockhart. “This poses many risks for financial transactions, customer privacy, and the integrity and reliability of the grid infrastructure. Utilities and key vendors are just beginning to focus on addressing these issues, and the security solutions implemented will have a strong influence on the success and credibility of EVs as a replacement for internal combustion engine vehicles.”
Several important areas for EV cyber security investment include:
• Securing financial transactions that are required for EV recharging
• Implementing secure and hardened IT environments on electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) and distribution grid hardware
• Secure end-to-end communications throughout the EV infrastructure
• Authoritative identification of vehicle owners/operators for recharging transactions
• Compliance with applicable data privacy laws and other regulations
The analysis finds that the largest segment for EV cyber security investment will be Smart Charging Management, which will garner $274 million in worldwide revenue between 2011 and 2015. Other key market segments include Data Analytics and Customer Information Management.