Most of these vehicles include at least basic telematics systems that not only enable the driver to check on charging station locations and the state of the battery charge, but in the future will also provide details on energy costs and charging station availability.
While basic telematics packages that offer simple data connections for emergency services, charging station locations, and remote diagnostics/vehicle monitoring are standard features on most PEVs, many consumers desire more elaborate, connected vehicle telematics, which can provide live traffic, weather, streaming content, and cloud computing-based applications.
According to a recent report from Pike Research, by 2017, 80% of PEVs will come with these connected vehicle systems installed.
The global market for electric vehicle telematics will reach $1.4 billion annually by 2017, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts.
“Early adopters of PEVs worldwide tend to be tech-savvy and more affluent than the average vehicle purchaser – a combination that will help grow interest in the more advanced connected vehicle telematics packages,” says senior analyst Dave Hurst. “Additionally, many automobile manufacturers are recognizing that including connected vehicle telematics in the early years of PEV retailing helps consumers recognize the value of the vehicle. Indeed, it is notable that the first mass market PEVs (Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, and Toyota Prius Plug-in) all come with connected vehicle telematics for three years as part of their base purchase price.”
PEV telematics are expected to play a significant role in the smart grid, as well. The ability of these vehicles to communicate with both utilities and the grid will help utilities anticipate the location and duration of PEV charging. Advance knowledge of where a load on the grid will be located or the length of time that a vehicle may be attached to the grid will ultimately help utilities manage the grid. PEV telematics will also aid in vehicle-to-grid (V2G) energy transfer, which will tap the energy stored in PEVs to help manage demand response and balance the grid.