Today, many electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are developing applications that can provide details on where the closest charging stations are within range of the current battery level of an EV. According to a new report from Pike Research (Boulder, Colo., U.S.A.), nearly nine out of ten EVs sold this year will include at least a basic telematics package, and that percentage will likely grow to 94% by 2017. Annual revenue from worldwide sales of electric vehicle telematics will total $1.4 billion by 2017, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts.
For early electric vehicles, one of the key features for customers is the telematics package. Giving driver’s the ability to check on the battery and the rate of charge of their electric vehicle (EV), telematics helps alleviate concerns over the limited range of electric vehicles (range anxiety).
A key group of players in the EV telematics supply chain will be wireless equipment manufacturers coming from outside the automotive industry, who are accustomed to more compressed product development timeframes than the carmakers use, says Pike Research.
"The hardware manufacturers are experiencing a bit of a culture shock, as automotive development generally targets an 8 to 10-year lifespan, compared to a 2 to 3-year lifespan for other wireless devices," says senior research analyst Dave Hurst. “For this reason, despite the fact that much of the data being transferred in EV telematics can be done easily with a slow GSM connection, most hardware manufacturers are targeting 3G services with their modems to ensure compatibility with the wireless network long term."
In addition, while basic telematics packages that offer simple data connections for emergency services, breakdown calls, charging station locations, and diagnostics/vehicle monitoring will be standard features on most EVs by 2017, many consumers will want more elaborate, connected vehicle telematics, which can provide live traffic, weather, streaming content, and cloud computing-based applications, says the research firm.
Pike Research's analysis indicates that, by the end of the forecast period, 80% of EVs will come with connected vehicle systems installed. Those costlier packages will push average revenue per user (ARPU) for electric vehicle telematics to $13.27 by 2017, up from $10.65 today.