Smart Electric Vehicle Charging Will Necessitate Greater Utility Investment in Cyber Security Systems

August 16, 2011

The technology architecture associated with electric vehicle (EV) charging is continuing to evolve as utilities and other key players in the industry ecosystem identify business requirements and risks associated with adding significant new demands on the electrical grid.  One of the most pressing challenges is related to securing financial transactions and end-to-end communications throughout the EV charging infrastructure, and a recent report from Pike Research indicates that these areas will be the focus of increased utility investment in cyber security systems over the next several years.  The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that the EV cyber security market will increase from just $26 million in 2011 to $144 million by 2015, with a cumulative investment of $432 million during that period.

“Smart charging management will be the primary driver of expanded utility spending on EV cyber security,” says senior analyst Bob Lockhart.  “The IT and communications infrastructure supporting charging equipment will need to be resilient and secure in order to mitigate risks associated with financial transactions and the threat of hacking that is posed by the addition of these new endpoints.  A malicious attack on the EV cyber infrastructure could potentially result in brownouts or stranded vehicles, and any failure in smart charging systems could strike a huge blow to utilities as well as consumer confidence in the reliability and viability of electric vehicles as a preferred mode of transportation.  ”

Lockhart adds that, in addition to their benefits for smart charging, EV cyber security systems will also serve to strengthen customer information management systems and enable new forms of data analytics that will be advantageous for utilities and end-users alike.  However, Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the EV cyber security market is still nascent and is somewhat hamstrung in the near term by the lack of security standards and binding regulation or legislation related to these issues.  Lockhart believes that the lack of a common approach is likely to make security for EV infrastructure more expensive than it needs to be, and more complex, over the next several years.

Pike Research’s report, “Electric  Vehicle Cyber Security”, presents a detailed analysis of key cyber security risks for EV charging infrastructures based upon three key security standards:  ISO 27002:2005 for IT networks, NISTIR 7628 Volume 2 for Personal Data Privacy, and NIST 800-82 for ICS networks.  The study includes a comprehensive examination of business requirements, technology issues, and key industry players that are shaping the emerging EV cyber security market.  Global revenue forecasts are included through 2015, including segmentation by region, security segment, and risk type.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

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.  For more information, visit www.navigantresearch.com or call +1.303.997.7609.

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