Research firm Zpryme expects EV sales to grow over 36 percent annually from 2011 to 2016, from 43,400 vehicles to 203,200, with a total rolling EV fleet of 730,700 vehicles by 2016.
California utility PG&E expects to see 300,000 EVs needing recharging in its territory alone by 2020.
Zpryme expects sales of home-based charging stations to grow from 25,400 today to 125,900 units in 2016, eventually becoming a $1.1 billion market on its own.
While it’s a huge opportunity, it’s also EvaTran’s biggest challenge.
Early entrants in the EV market have partnered with specific charger makers—Nissanwith AeroVironment and GM with SPX.
That relegates firms like EvaTran to the aftermarket, and since buying the car and the charging system usually happens at the same time, there’s not much of an aftermarket.
But early EV buyers have grumbled about the difference between the sticker price and the “all-in” price - which factors in costs of the charger, potential home rewiring to handle the new equipment, and the availability of various federal and state tax credits to offset those costs.
Car makers spending millions developing new EVs won’t want to see these external issues harm sales, says Pike’s Gartner.
In the future, he adds, car dealers could simply describe their EV’s requirements, and then let buyers find a charger elsewhere—whether it’s at an auto parts chain, like AutoZone , or a home improvement retailer, likeLowes .
He estimates the typical charger system costs about $2000-$4000 for hardware and installation.
“That space is going to come down quickly” in price, adds Gartner..
EvaTran’s unit will have a $2000-$3000 price point, says Hough.
While he says he’d love to see a more robust aftermarket for charging stations, Hough’s not waiting for it to happen, adding that “Nissan and GM aren’t the only the people in the game.”
He wouldn’t name names, but he says it’s “safe to say” he’s signed non-disclosure agreements with seven automakers for their upcoming EV launches.
Aside from dedicated EV makers like Tesla Motors , carmakers FordMotor , Honda and Hyundai have EV’s planned for the next two years, as do BMW’s Mini, Daimler’s SMART division, and Volkswagen’s Audi.
GM just invested $5 million in wireless charging start-up Powermat.