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Navigant Research projects global market for plug-in charging equipment to grow to 4.3M units and $5.8B in revenue in 2022

The market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) has expanded in recent years in parallel with the deployment of publicly accessible charging stations, mainly funded by government programs. According to a new report from Navigant Research, there are now almost 64,000 public charging stations installed globally. Overall, Navigant Research expects global sales of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to grow from around 442,000 units in 2013 to 4.3 million in 2022, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.8%. The company expects revenue from the sales of EVSE to grow from $567 million in 2013 to $5.8 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 29.4%.

Residential EVSE sales are directly driven by the increase in PEV sales, as many drivers purchase a charger for exclusive use at home. Commercial charging, which includes workplace, public and private chargers, is more indirectly tied to PEV growth and is still driven to a great degree by government support, the market research firm observed. However, this dynamic is changing, as government programs in some regions are coming to a close.

As public investments in charging infrastructure wane, the numerous companies that emerged in the market’s early stages and championed various technologies and business models are now beginning to consolidate and standardize. While investment in EV charging equipment technology has been significant during the past few years, the private sector now needs to focus on financing infrastructure deployments in order for the market to continue to grow rapidly.

—Scott Shepard, research analyst with Navigant Research

Alternating current (AC) installations account for the vast majority of public charging station installations worldwide. AC charging, which is used in both residential and commercial applications, typically supplies capacities of up to 7.2 kilowatts (kW) and, in rare cases, up to 43 kW. Used in commercial applications, direct current (DC) installations typically supply from 20 kW to 50 kW, although some manufacturers have introduced units with power ratings of up to 100 kW.

Navigant anticipates that the market will see higher demand for residential units than for commercial units through 2014, as early PEV buyers are more likely to own their own homes and because the commercial charging market will not begin to pick up dramatically until the total number of PEVs on the road becomes large enough to attract private investment.

In 2013, Navigant Research expects commercial charging unit sales—which are still dependent to a large degree on government subsidies—to reach around 171,600 globally, with the largest markets being Japan, the United States, and China. Navigant expects the commercial EVSE market is expected to grow to just over 2.9 million by 2022, a CAGR of 36.7%. While the total sales forecasts are higher than had been projected previously, the pace of growth is slightly slower.

Data from the Navigant Research Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Tracker shows that there is wide variance in public charging rollouts to date and that the market is heavily dependent on government subsidies or incentives. As a result, for the next 2 to 3 years, Navigant Research projects uneven growth in commercial charging, depending on each country’s policy status.

Navigant projects that Japan will be the largest market for EVSE during the forecast period; although the United States will see the second largest sales in 2013, this position will be lost by 2015 as sales in China surge. The other major centers of demand for EVSE are in Western Europe, with Germany and the United Kingdom maintaining strong growth throughout the forecast period.

Through 2014, this market will continue to see consolidation among the industry players, as there are many companies currently competing for the market. Consolidation is already occurring and will continue, including EVSE companies acquiring others (this happened in late 2012 with UK company Chargemaster acquiring its main competitor, Elektromotive); companies closing up a regional office; companies simply closing up shop (as happened with Better Place); or cooperation (as occurred between ChargePoint and ECOtality forming the Collaboratev joint venture). [ECOtality has now filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with a full asset sale. Earlier post. —Ed.]

In addition, it is likely that key players will begin to focus on their core competencies. The many EVSE players are starting to differentiate themselves based on whether they are an equipment manufacturer, an installer and service provider, a network operator, or a turnkey solutions provider. This evolution could result in hardware manufactures focusing on providing cheaper, mass-produced EVSE, while companies with software and networking expertise focus on providing added value to PEV drivers and to EVSE owners.

—“Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment”


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