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Ten Electric Vehicle Predictions for 2014

Market research organization Navigant makes ten predictions that run the gamut from wireless charging to a 'volatile year' for Tesla Motors.

Published: 09-Jan-2014

The coming year will see electric vehicles play a major role in the growth of car sharing programs, while electric motorcycles will come of age as a transportation method, according to a Navigant Research white paper that makes 10 predictions for the 2014 electric vehicles market.

Electric Vehicles: 10 Predictions for 2014 forecasts:

1. EVs will play a leading role in carshare growth.

2014 will be a breakout year for car sharing programs with a 20 percent growth in the nation’s car sharing fleet. Electric vehicles are good fit for those who do not want to own their own transport because of the savings and convenience of driving on electricity rather than paying at the pump, Navigant says.

2. Electric motorcycles will break out as transportation alternative.

An increase in product choice in the electric market and signs of a rebounding motorcycle market will spark this trend, Navigant says.

3. Tesla Motors will have a volatile year.

Plans to increase in the number of its “supercharger” stations, scale up vehicle production and enter new markets represent three major challengers for the electric sportscar manufacturer and point to an unpredictable 2014, Navigant says.

4. Electric vehicle makers will pursue revenue beyond vehicle sales.

Offerings such as information and entertainment services to users and the use of cars as mobile batteries for demand response by grid operators are possible alternative incomes automakers will seek from their electric vehicles.

5. Fuel cell car launches will spur a new round of “fuel cell vehicle versus battery electric vehicle” hype.

A host of planned fuel cell launches by the likes of Honda, Toyota and BMW will fuel a media frenzy pitting the two alternative transportation methods against one another, Navigant says.

6. Automakers will accelerate push for changes in the California zero emission vehicle mandates.

The regulations require that volume automakers sell a minimum number of plug-in electric vehicles each year in the state. The requirement has been extended through 2025; however, the mandated sales levels are not likely to be met and will be heard about frequently in 2014, Navigant says.

7. Wireless charging will move from the lab to the street.

Toyota made a public commitment to offer wireless charging when it recently signed a licensing agreement to use technology from the startup Witricity. Furthermore, wireless charging technology developed by Qualcomm Halo will be tested on the streets of London as well as debuting on the racing circuit in 2014 through an agreement with the Formula E global series of races.

8. Electric vehicles will reduce vehicle carbon dioxide emissions in the US by more than 1 million tons.

Assuming that all the electric vehicles purchased by the end of 2014 replace a car that would have gotten the current fleet average of 25 mpg and that the annual electric miles driven was between 10,000 and 12,000, the total reduction in CO2 emissions in 2014 will be about 1.2 million tons, Navigant says.

9. More than 2.2 million electric-drive motors will ship in 2014.

More than 1.9 million hybrid electric vehicles will be sold globally in 2014, far outpacing the sales of battery electric vehicles (216,235) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (130,226), Navigant says.

10. Vehicle-to-grid pilot projects will expand and begin generating revenue across the United States

Building on projects by eV2G and the US Department of Defense, the number of vehicle-to-grid projects will expand to additional regions thanks to the Federal Electricity Regulatory Commission’s Order 755. The order, passed in late 2011, mandates that the compensation be higher for assets supplying frequency regulation markets that quickly and accurately respond to the grid operator’s generation signal, which plays to the strength of electric vehicle batteries, Navigant says.

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