The Race for EV's
|Christoph Hammerschmidt||January 25th 2012|
The British government and a number of private-public initiatives are successfully building the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, says Frost & Sullivan. "London has over 500 public charging stations and is dynamically adding more to it", explains Research Associate Prajyot N. Sathe. “The launch of the Source London scheme is working towards getting 1.300 public charging stations by 2013.” By 2015, about 25.000 charging stations will be available in the greater London area. The North East England region also is pushing ahead electromobility infrastructure - the region recently has installed 300 charging stations; the goal is to get 1300 charging stations already in 2013. North East England has been included in the “Plugged-in places” project, that offers matched funding to business and public sectors to install charging stations. They have also been formulated to integrate residential charging stations with a provision for smart meters.
Nissan's strategic use of its Sunderland plant for developing Electric Vehicles (EVs) across Europe has accelerated the government’s vision to increase sustainable and 'green-collar’ jobs. The ambitious targets set by the government and heavy contracts secured by leading EV infrastructure providers are the major grounds for the impressive deployment of the EV charging stations network at strategic locations such as car parks, residential and commercial locations as well as leisure facilities.
The introductory phases for the deployment of charging stations have been completed or are on the edge of completion. The EV charging infrastructure market is expected to grow at a vigorous rate over the next 5 years with 2012 to 2015 becoming the most crucial years for the market to advance. Frost & Sullivan finds. While in the past year, the roll-out of electric vehicles such as Opel Ampera, Ford Focus and Smart Fortwo has been delayed and thus the interest from car buyers did fail to come to speed, the market researcher believes that this situation will change. The introduction of a wide range of electric vehicles and releasing them on the mass market as well as the availability of charging stations to facilitate the consumers will secure EV interests. The standardisation challenge, however, prevails, as different types of connectors and plugs will make finding a suitable charging point difficult and furthermore, the change in standards will lead to stranded assets.
For Europe as a whole, Frost & Sullivan predicts the availability of some 2 million charging points, of which the UK is expected to have about 390.000 or almost 20 percent. The market experts also see the UK in the leading position over France and Germany in the provision of electric vehicles. The availability of charging stations is a key factor in this equation. Frost & Sullivan expert Sathe estimates investments of 5 billion euros into the infrastructure over the next seven years. In the same time frame, the ratio of charging stations to electric vehicles is expected to decrease from 2.5 to 1.8.
Christoph Hammerschmidt writes for EE Times, from where this article is adapted.