Change is tricky and change is coming to the car business. It won’t be a simple seasonal change, it will be an epochal change. In 2010, personal transportation will begin its transition from liquid to electric fuel. The only question is, how rapid, chaotic and costly will it be? Or is the better question how slow and fraught with resistance and corrections will it be?
Pike Research’s Electric Vehicles: 10 Predictions for 2010 constructs a documented picture of the transition from cars with internal combustion engines (ICEs) to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which include all-electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and hydrid electric vehicles (hybrids/HEVs). Key things to watch for are (1) the evolving way BEVs are sold either by affordability or hype, and (2) how fast the price of the lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries that power them falls.
The 10 predictions from Pike Research are... ::continue::
(1) BEVs won’t be cheaper right away.
(2) 2010 is the year they hit showrooms but 2012 is the year to watch.
(3) Hybrids (HEVs) will dominate next year and grow faster than EVs and PHEVs, with more models and options.
(4) PHEVs will keep evolving, just like ICEs evolved but faster.
(5) Early EV Li-ion batteries may not have a strong resale market.
(6) Asia will dominate.
(7) Growth is not presently foreseen for battery swapping station technology.
(8) The commercial BEV charging station business is not presently expected to be big or profitable.
(9) The electric transmission system (the grid) will accommodate and benefit BEV charging but improvements will be necessary as usage grows.
(10) Vehicle-to-Grid (V-2-G) technology will track the growth of the BEV market and may not be a significant economic factor before 2015.
Some crucial bottom line findings:
(1) HEVs will continue to be the most commonly seen tomorrow car through the first half of the next decade but BEVs will become progressively more apparent.
(2) Combined portion of total vehicle market for BEVs through 2015: 2.5%
(3) It may require billions of investment dollars for new automotive and battery technologies, charging equipment and transmission mission upgrades through 2015.
(4) Worldwide, there will be 5.3+ million charging stations by 2015.
(5) Lithium ion (Li-ion) battery makers are already taking advantage of federal subsidies and venture capital to expand manufacturing capacity and, by 2015, the business will be worth $8 billion.
This post is based on Electric Vehicles: 10 Predictions for 2010, John Gartner and Clint Wheelock, 4Q 2009, Pike Research and HybridCars.com.
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