The More the MerrierThe network effect describes scenarios where the value of something goes up along with the number of that thing (or a complimentary thing). So a few decades ago when fax machines first came out, they were pretty worthless. But as more and more people go them, each one became more useful because there were more people you could send faxes to and receive faxes from. There's a similar effect going on with electric vehicles and charging stations, though the force of the effect isn't as strong as with fax machines because people can also charge their EVs at home. But still, the more charging stations - especially very fast ones - there are out there, the more useful electric vehicles become. That's why it's important to keep an eye on progress on that front.
Pike Research has recently released a forecast on that industry, and it's pretty positive. Here are some highlights:
Pike Research forecasts that global sales of electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment (EVSE) will grow at a steady pace from 2012 to 2020 as the global market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) grows. The EVSE market will rise from below 200,000 units sold in 2012 to almost 2.4 million in 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37%, according to Pike’s projections. [...]
The United States will be the largest single market for EVSE from 2012 to 2020, according to Pike. Pike sees sales of EVSE in North America growing almost tenfold, from around 66,000 units in 2012 to 626,000 units in 2020. Although EVSE sales have been driven by federal stimulus dollars in 2011–2012, these projects are winding down, so sales will shift to non-publicly funded units.
The US EVSE market will be led by just a handful of states, with six states constituting roughly 50% of EVSE sales from 2012 to 2020: California; New York; Florida; Texas; Washington; and Illinois.
Europe will see the most EVSE installations during the forecast period, just slightly higher than in the Asia Pacific region. Sales will initially be driven by Western European demand, which will constitute more than 90% of European EVSE sales. Five European countries will be in the top 10 countries globally in terms of EVSE sales: Germany; France; the United Kingdom; the Netherlands; and Italy.
In the Asia Pacific region, Japan is the strongest market, according to Pike, due to the substantial investment in charging infrastructure to support PEV sales. However, China is expected to overtake Japan and become the largest market for EVSE in Asia Pacific in 2016. Both countries are also in the top 10 consumers of EVSE. The global top 10 is rounded out by Canada and Australia.