Although sales of plug-in electric vehicles to date have been lower than previously forecast, the plug-in electric vehicle market is expected to continue to grow, and to see stronger growth when the worldwide economy improves and as battery prices come down.
A key enabler, and a direct result, of that growth will be expanding sales of EV charging equipment (better known as electric vehicle supply equipment, or EVSE).
According to a recent report from Pike Research, annual revenue from EV charging equipment sales will grow from $355 million in 2012 to more than $3.8 billion in 2020 – more than a tenfold increase.
The key short-term challenge for commercial EV charging equipment sales is to devise viable business models. Currently, it seems likely that both “all-you-can-eat” subscription plans and single price per charge models will be used in the near future.
Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the industry seems to be converging around a very low price point for per-charge costs that affords little cushion for the host site to make money. According to the report, the subscription model appears to hold the most promise as a way to generate revenue from public charging systems at a price that will be acceptable to drivers.