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EV Makers ‘to Exit in 2013’

Capital will shift from electric vehicles to battery components in 2013, forcing some EV companies to exit the market or be acquired, according to a new white paper by Pike Research.

Pike says the emphasis will be on components rather than complete battery packs, and chemical conglomerates such as Dow Energy Materials and BASF will continue to invest in anode, cathode, and electrolyte material research and development in 2013. Nano-scale components and activated carbon will become more popular.

Electric Vehicles: 10 Predictions for 2013 forecasts that more than 210,000 PEVs will be sold globally in the new year, and consumers will have more choices when it comes to EVs as more than three dozen models will debut. By the end of 2013, about 400,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) will be driving on roads around the world, Pike says.

Other predictions include:

  • Some 3,442 fuel cell vehicles will ship in 2013 (see chart) from vendors including Toyota, Daimler, Hyundai and Honda, Pike Research predicts. The majority of these will be deployed through agreements with fleets and tested in public trials.
  • Electric bikes will ramp up in 2013, with sales of e-bikes in North America growing by more than 50 percent to more than 158,000 bikes.
  • Led by manufacturers including AllCell Technologies, Balqon, and Saft, 48-volt lead-acid and lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries will provide greater reliability and charge acceptance from regenerative braking, compared to their 12-volt counterparts. The higher-power batteries will also allow heating and cooling systems, for example, to operate when the engine is off without dimming headlights.
  • 2013 will be a critical year for Better Place, following its high-level executives leaving the battery swapping company in 2012, Pike Research says. And, so far, so only Renault has designed its EV to be compatible with Better Place’s technology. More companies will lease vehicles and batteries separately in 2013, Pike Research predicts. In Europe, Mia Electric and Daimler have adopted battery leasing; the idea will make it to Asia Pacific and North America by the year’s end.
  • Germany will lead Europe’s PEV growth in 2013 with at least seven models by Volkswagen, Audi and BMW. The county’s market will more than double in 2013, reaching about 14,000 vehicles.
  • Coasting technology will be a hot topic, as early tests by Audi and BMW show it can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent. Despite its potential, technical challenges and liability issues present roadblocks, Pike Research says.

A Mintel study published earlier this week forecasts sales of hybrid and electric cars to exceed 535,000 units by the end of 2013, or a 14 percent increase in sales over 2012 estimates. By 2017, Mintel predicts that sales of hybrid and EVs will reach 850,000 units, representing five percent of the total US car market.

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