As More people purchased early automobiles, demand for gasoline stations grew in tandem. These days, as sales of electric vehicles (EVs) trend upward, demand for home-charging stations is increasing, as well.
One sign of this growth is that major car manufacturers, in addition to continuing to show up at auto shows, also are appearing at electronics shows. At the January 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Mark Fields, CEO of Ford Motor Co., announced that the company already had more EV patents than any other auto manufacturer. Ford plans to bring 13 new EVs to market within the next four years, potentially making it the largest EV manufacturer in the world.
“We are completely rethinking how we approach the business, with one foot in today and one foot in tomorrow,” he said.
A January 2016 report published by research firm IDTechEx, “Electric Vehicle Forecasts, Trends and Opportunities 2016–026,” states the EV market is “set to explode” over the next decade—to the tune of $500 billion per year in new business.
“Batteries, supercapacitors, energy harvesting, wireless charging, power electronics, and structural electronics are all evolving,” the report states. “This is driving progress across the whole EV market, and now many profitable niche markets are emerging just as there’s been a shake-up in the leading sectors.”
Another report, “The Global Electric Vehicles Market Report,” published by Market Reports Online in December 2015, notes that battery-operated EVs are likely to drive the growth of the eco-car market in coming years. According to the report, key factors driving growth include growing urbanization, rising demand for the global hybrid EV market, economic growth, growing car sales in emerging markets and falling battery prices.
However, according to Market Reports Online, it may be a little while before battery-only vehicles take over the market. The report notes that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), which fall in the middle of EVs, as well as vehicles that run on more fuel-efficient internal combustion engines, are expected to drive eco-car sales growth for some time, due to limited battery capacity, high prices, long charge times and charging infrastructure. That is, near-term home EV charging infrastructure demand is more likely to be focused on PHEVs than on battery-only vehicles.
All of this bodes well for electrical contractors that create a niche in home EV charging stations.
For more on EV charging, see "What's Driving EVs?"