While it's been debated that the majority of electric vehicle (EV) owners will find little need for public chargers and will instead choose to juice their EVs up at home each night, a study from the clean technology market research firm Pike Research indicates that chargers are coming anyways. Tons of them. Even Pike's own study reveals that at-home charging will be the norm, but that won't stop vendors, municipalities and utility companies from installing all those public charging stations.
Funded mainly by government dollars, Pike is predicting the U.S. will have more than one million public chargers by 2015, the vast majority of which will offer low-fee or free charging. Pike Research also suggests that retailers will install charging stations in an effort to draw in consumers by alluring them with the offer of free charging while they shop. Coincidentally, the number of chargers predicted by Pike Research line up with many studies suggesting that the U.S. could have more than one million EVs scattered across our roadways by 2015. If you add in all of the million or so home charging units, it seems like we could end up with a charger overload. Follow the jump for more on the predicted expansion of our EV charging infrastructure.

[Source: Pike Research]

PRESS RELEASE

More than 4.7 Million Electric Vehicle Charge Points to be Installed by 2015


The automotive industry will reach a turning point during 2010, as it begins the gradual transition away from the internal combustion engine and towards electrification. According to a new report from Pike Research, this evolution will require the ongoing buildout of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, ranging from residential equipment to public, private and workplace charging stations. The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that a total of 4.7 million such charge points will be installed worldwide during the period from 2010 to 2015.

"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 vehicles, 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."

Pike Research's study, "Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment", analyzes technology and business issues related to the buildout of EV charging infrastructure in global markets. It examines the market for residential, public, private, and workplace charging stations as well as reviewing the key operational and technological impacts of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles on the grid. Analysis includes an in-depth assessment of market drivers and barriers, along with profiles of charging infrastructure vendors and utilities. Detailed forecasts for EV charging equipment are included through 2015. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm's website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Clean Transportation, Clean Industry, Corporate Sustainability, and Building Efficiency sectors. For more information, visit www.pikeresearch.com or call +1.303.997.9765.


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