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Pike forecasts $1.4B market for EV telematics by 2017

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Cumulative light-duty PEV deployments by segment, world markets: 2011-2017. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.

Nearly nine out of ten plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) sold this year will include at least a basic telematics package, and that percentage will likely grow to 94% by 2017, according to a new report from Pike Research. Annual revenue from worldwide sales of electric vehicle telematics will total $1.4 billion by 2017, Pike forecasts.

The report segments telematics systems for PEVs into two varieties: basic telematics provide simple data connections for emergency services, charging equipment locations, and diagnostics/vehicle monitoring; connected vehicle telematics provide live traffic, weather, streaming content, and cloud computing-based applications.

Telematics provides the connection to utilities, grid operators, data providers, and owners’ smartphones. PEV telematics delivers information on electric usage, pricing, and state of charge to smartphones, while connected vehicle telematics will be used to deliver additional content and provide unique tools for PEV owners.

PEV telematics are also 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 help manage demand response or grid balancing.

There are four key players in the PEV telematics industry, the report notes:

  • Automobile manufacturers;
  • Hardware manufacturers that provide the telematics control unit (TCU), wireless modems, and/or head unit in the vehicle;
  • Software developers that provide apps that drivers will use, human-machine interfaces (HMIs), and the telematics system operating system; and
  • Wireless service or telematics service providers (TSPs) that provide the wireless communications, call centers, and web portals.

The hardware manufacturers are experiencing a bit of a culture shock, as automotive development generally targets an 8 to 10-year lifespan, compared to a 2 to 3-year lifespan for other wireless devices. For this reason, despite the fact that much of the data being transferred in PEV telematics can be done easily with a slow GSM connection, most hardware manufacturers are targeting 3G services with their modems to ensure compatibility with the wireless network long term.

—Pike senior research analyst Dave Hurst

While basic telematics packages that offer simple data connections for emergency services, breakdown calls, charging station locations, and diagnostics/vehicle monitoring will be standard features on most PEVs by 2017, many consumers will want more elaborate, connected vehicle telematics, which can provide live traffic, weather, streaming content, and cloud computing-based applications.

Pike Research’s analysis indicates that, by the end of the forecast period, 80% of PEVs will come with connected vehicle systems installed. Those costlier packages will push average revenue per user (ARPU) for electric vehicle telematics to $13.27 by 2017, up from $10.65 today.

Pike Research’s report, “Electric Vehicle Telematics”, analyzes the market opportunity for telematics in plug-in electric vehicles, including market forces, technology, government influence on the market, and key drivers of the growth and profiles of key market players. The report includes plug-in electric vehicle sales, sales of basic and connected vehicle telematics, and global revenue forecasts through 2017, segmented by world region.



This all suggests there will be an active after-market in telematic privacy. Equipment and software specifically protecting a driver's right to privacy in many world forms.


We all hope that the total market for electric vehicles is 1.4 billion by 2017. That's 45,000 cars priced at $30,000 each.

Vitaly Vinogradov

With less then $14 per car, this suggests that in 2017 there would be around 10 million electric cars or hybrids produced. I think this is a bit optimistic, with total worldwide car production estimated to be ~90 millions in 2016. Now there is less then 75 millions cars were produced in 2011 worldwide...

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