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Electric vehicles surprise analysts as most connected by 2017

A recent research report by Pike Research indicates plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are set to be some of the most “connected” vehicles on the road. Can you guess the percentage for the year, 2017?

According to Pike Research, telematics systems for PEVs come in two varieties: 1) Basic telematics provide simple data connections for emergency services, charging equipment locations, and diagnostics/vehicle monitoring; 2) 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.

Recall that automobile manufacturers began to introduce mass marketed plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in 2010. Most of these vehicles include at least basic telematics systems that not only enable the driver to check on charging station locations and the state of the battery charge, but in the future will also provide details on energy costs and charging station availability. While basic telematics packages that offer simple data connections for emergency services, charging station locations, and remote diagnostics/vehicle monitoring are standard features on most PEVs, many consumers desire more elaborate, connected vehicle telematics, which can provide live traffic, weather, streaming content, and cloud computing-based applications.

Obviously, it’s a matter of degree of significance; and PEV telematics are 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 sets the stage. 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.

This Pike Research report 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.

In answer to the question above, the report from Pike Research states: By 2017, 80% of PEVs will come with these connected vehicle systems installed. Furthermore, the global market for electric vehicle telematics will reach $1.4 billion annually by 2017.

“Early adopters of PEVs worldwide tend to be tech-savvy and more affluent than the average vehicle purchaser – a combination that will help grow interest in the more advanced connected vehicle telematics packages,” says senior analyst Dave Hurst.

“Additionally, many automobile manufacturers are recognizing that including connected vehicle telematics in the early years of PEV retailing helps consumers recognize the value of the vehicle. Indeed, it is notable that the first mass market PEVs (Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, and Toyota Prius Plug-in) all come with connected vehicle telematics for three years as part of their base purchase price.”

For the record, Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors.

[Image Source: Ford media]