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.
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.