Pike Research Sees Changes Coming in Global Electric Vehicle Market

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Green¬≠tech indus¬≠try research and con¬≠sult¬≠ing firm Pike Research sees the elec¬≠tric vehi¬≠cle mar¬≠ket shift¬≠ing in 2013. It cer¬≠tain¬≠ly is a tough indus¬≠try to thrive with¬≠in, whether that be start¬≠up com¬≠pa¬≠nies like Tes¬≠la, Coda, and Fisker, or major automak¬≠ers like Nis¬≠san, Gen¬≠er¬≠al Motors, Ford, and BMW. Pike Research sees cap¬≠i¬≠tal invest¬≠ments shift¬≠ing more this year toward bat¬≠tery com¬≠po¬≠nents and away from EVs. Com¬≠po¬≠nents may be more mar¬≠ketable than com¬≠plete bat¬≠tery packs with lim¬≠it¬≠ed EV sales vol¬≠ume. Com¬≠pa¬≠nies like Dow Ener¬≠gy Mate¬≠ri¬≠als and BASF will con¬≠tin¬≠ue to invest in anode, cath¬≠ode, and elec¬≠trolyte mate¬≠r¬≠i¬≠al research and devel¬≠op¬≠ment ‚Äď though the tech¬≠nol¬≠o¬≠gy will need to meet some changes in cus¬≠tomer expec¬≠ta¬≠tions, accord¬≠ing to the study.

Pike Research pre¬≠dicts more than 210,000 plug-in elec¬≠tric vehi¬≠cles will be sold glob¬≠al¬≠ly this year, and con¬≠sumers will have a wide spec¬≠trum of choic¬≠es as more than three dozen mod¬≠els will debut. As for the growth in oth¬≠er tech¬≠nolo¬≠gies, the study pre¬≠dicts more than 3,400 fuel cell vehi¬≠cles will be shipped in 2013 by Toy¬≠ota, Daim¬≠ler, Hyundai, and Hon¬≠da; elec¬≠tric bike sales will grow by 50% in North Amer¬≠i¬≠ca, reach¬≠ing 158,000 units sold; 48-volt lead-acid and lithi¬≠um ion bat¬≠ter¬≠ies are expect¬≠ed to pro¬≠vide greater reli¬≠a¬≠bil¬≠i¬≠ty and charge accep¬≠tance from regen¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tive brak¬≠ing, com¬≠pared to 12-volt coun¬≠ter¬≠parts; heat¬≠ing and cool¬≠ing sys¬≠tems will also ben¬≠e¬≠fit from the high¬≠er-pow¬≠er bat¬≠ter¬≠ies; Volk¬≠swa¬≠gen, Audi, and BMW are expect¬≠ed to lead Europe‚Äôs EV mar¬≠ket growth; and, coast¬≠ing tech¬≠nol¬≠o¬≠gy is expect¬≠ed to be a hot top¬≠ic ‚Äď ear¬≠ly tests show Audi and BMW reduc¬≠ing fuel con¬≠sump¬≠tion by as much as 10%, but there are tech¬≠ni¬≠cal chal¬≠lenges and lia¬≠bil¬≠i¬≠ty issues that need to be resolved, the study says.

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