Electric Vehicle Market Poised for Growth


As concerns over air pollution and climate change continue to mount, the electric vehicle (EV) market is predicted to expand at a corresponding rate. And charging stations for electric vehicles is an equally high-growth market.

In August, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden released the White House’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) Innovation Report that singled out the EV industry as one well positioned to secure the U.S. as a leader in the industry. The report included clean electronic transportation and storage technologies company ECOtality, Inc.’s EV Project as an example of federal Recovery Act funding stimulating both the private sector and government to develop dynamic infrastructure, support renewable energy, and promote job creation.

The EV Project was funded by a $99.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to ECOtality North America (a subsidiary of ECOtality, Inc.) in 2009. In June 2010, ECOtality announced the project was granted an additional $15 million by the U.S. Department of Energy. ECOtality plans to deploy close to 15,000 of its Blink charging stations in 16 cities located in Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Tennessee, Texas, and the District of Columbia.

According to the Recovery Act report, beyond manufacturing, another $400 from the Transportation Electrification program will go to support electric vehicle deployment programs such as ECOtality’s. These programs will bring the total of EV charging stations from fewer than 500 today to more than 20,000 by 2012. And, according to a report by Pike Research on the electric vehicle equipment supply industry, the market is expected to grow to $1.5 billion by 2015.

In Singapore, the firm Zeco Systems has launched “Greenlots Point,” a charging station that allows EV users to plug in and charge their vehicles using a simple authentication system. Greenlots Point stations can be located in home and office parking lots, residential parking garages and malls. As of last February, ten charging stations were set up in Singapore.

Many consider Singapore to be the perfect country for electric vehicles as people there drive approximately 40 kilometers between work and home, and most vehicle owners park their cars for roughly 22 hours a day, either at home, work, or for shopping and leisure. The Singapore government is actively seeking proposals from companies for a network of EV charging stations to be ready to deploy by November. The country’s Energy Market Authority (EMA), whose goals are to promote competition in the energy market while securing a reliable energy supply and developing a dynamic energy structure, hopes to build up to 63 charging stations across Singapore.

And Coulomb Technologies in California, a leader in EV charging station infrastructure, has shipped more than 850 ChargePoint Networked Charging stations to more than 200 customers worldwide since 2009. The company’s Department of Energy-funded ChargePoint America program is currently providing 4,600 free home and public charging stations in nine regions of the U.S.

Article by Julie Mitchell, appearing courtesy Celsias.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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