Pike Research is forecasting that the number electric vehicle charging stations will grow rapidly in the coming years, with 11.4 million chargers in operation globally by 2020. The market research and consulting firm released a report on electric vehicle supply equipment ( EVSE) that sees 2012 being a strong year for EVSE deployment and the pace continuing from here.

The report, "Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment," is built on the premise that plug-in electric vehicle sales will see growth and drive EVSE deployment. As for the numbers, Pike Research sees more than 135,000 electric vehicles ( EVs) being sold globally this year, with unit sales of EVSE coming in under 200,000. That number is expected to grow to 2.4 million EVSE sold in 2020. As for global markets, the report targets the US, Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, Korea, and Israel as places where EVSE uptake will be high. The report looks at Level 2 chargers, DC fast chargers, and wireless charging.

Pike Research does acknowledge that sales of EVs and charging station installations have been slower than expected. Almost 45,000 public charging stations will be installed globally this year, and most of this is coming from publicly funded programs, Pike Research says. There's a chicken and egg aspect to all this, too, since much of the private sector is waiting for more EVs to hit the roads before investing in more charging infrastructure. The EVSE industry is still trying to determine the best way to create a viable return on investment on EVSE station deployments for site hosts. This will become a pressing issue as publicly funded EVSE installations wind down.

Still, Pike Research remains optimistic about market growth. "Nevertheless, global sales of charging equipment are expected to grow at a steady pace as the plug-in vehicle market grows," the company says on its promotion page for the report.

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