Five of 10 2011 EV Predictions

Needless to say, the start of a year is a good time to make predictions, so it should come as not much of a surprise that the folks at Pike Research have come out with a white paper titled “Electric Vehicles: 10 Predictions for 2011.” According to John Gartner, senior manager at Pike, “There is still a great deal of uncertainty about the issues of price sensitivity, range anxiety and the importance of changing station networks, the length of time required to charge EVs, and other important matters.

Needless to say, the start of a year is a good time to make predictions, so it should come as not much of a surprise that the folks at Pike Research have come out with a white paper titled “Electric Vehicles: 10 Predictions for 2011.”

According to John Gartner, senior manager at Pike, “There is still a great deal of uncertainty about the issues of price sensitivity, range anxiety and the importance of changing station networks, the length of time required to charge EVs, and other important matters. These questions can only be answered through real-world experience that is gained from commercial launches.”

Fair enough.

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So here are some of their predictions:

1. “’Range anxiety’ will prove to be more fiction than fact.”

2. “Automakers will get pushback from EV owners regarding the length of time it takes to fully charge a vehicle.

3. “Many EV charging stations will spend the majority of their time idle.”

4. “The landscape for charging equipment will undergo a seismic shift as the category swiftly moves toward becoming a commodity market.”

5. The majority of people who drive a plug-in vehicle won’t own it.”

6. “Fuel cell vehicles will be sold to fleets and consumers in small but growing numbers.”

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Our take:

1. Remember when GM wanted to trademark “Range anxiety”? Seems like there’s far too much Freud in this whole EV discussion.

2. Whether the amount of charging time will be the charging time across the board remains to be determined. But keep in mind there’s sort of an implicit financial disclaimer attached to even the window stickers of gasoline-powered vehicles, a variation on the “Past performance is no. . . .”

3. Arguably, many gas pumps spend their time idle.

4. Does anyone even think about the category “gas pumps”?

5. You can lease a Nissan LEAF or Chevy Volt for about $350 a month for 36 months. So the non-ownership should be a surprise?

We’re thinking about getting our own crystal ball.