The electric vehicle (EV) industry got off to a slow restart in 2010 and has had its share of highly publicized missteps (e.g., Fisker, CODA, and A123), but it has already made many contributions to the economy.
First off, sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States generated revenue of around $1.7 billion in 2012, and Tesla Motors alone generated revenue of more than $300 million in the fourth quarter. Sales of plug-in vehicles are up 145% this year compared to the first quarter of 2012, with more than a dozen models on the market.
Then there’s the investment in charging infrastructure equipment, which was around $92 million in 2012. That does not include payments to electric contractors for installation work or the permitting fees that go to state and local governments to get approval for installation. Expenditures on commercial and residential electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) are expected to exceed $172 million in North America and more than $713 million globally during 2013, according to data from Navigant Research.
Total Installed Commercial EVSE Stations by Accessibility and State, Top 10 U.S. States: 2012
(Source: Navigant Research)
EV charging is now available across the United States at more than 20,000 locations, which are bringing in money every day through pay-for-charging events. Not all of the equipment providers will survive – consolidation is natural in any rapidly growing industry – and any companies that fall by the wayside should not be viewed as indicators of the broader failure of the industry. While some of the seeds of the Department of Energy-funded EV infrastructure did not take root, the investment has been critical to increasing consumer adoption of EVs.
Another beneficiary of the EV industry is the solar industry. As outlined in Navigant Research’s recent report, Solar and Electric Vehicles Cross Marketing Strategies, many car dealerships, including Chevrolet, Ford, and Nissan dealers, are installing solar as a visible sign to consumers that they are environmentally conscious and so that they can offer emissions-free charging to EV customers. Many of the early EV adopters live in single-family homes and are installing solar arrays to offset their energy consumption. In many cases the solar panels are capable of providing more than enough electricity for their EVs throughout the year.
It is easy (and headline grabbing) to focus on the failures, but that ignores the many jobs that have been created and the new and established business ventures that are poised to take off now that the industry has made it through its rough infancy.
Tags: Clean Transportation, Electric Vehicles, EV Charging, Smart Transportation Program
| No Comments »