BOULDER, CO – According to a new report from Pike Research, more than 1.5 million locations to charge electric vehicles will be available in the United States by 2017, with a total of 7.7 million locations worldwide. 

This will translate into revenues of more than $4.3 billion for makers of electric vehicle charging equipment by 2017, Pike forecasts. That total is up from $400 million in 2011, representing a compound annual growth rate of 49 percent.

Sales of electric vehicles are expected to accelerate strongly over the next few years, and along with them will come rapid growth in deployment of charging equipment for the vehicles. Two years from now, more than 80 different models of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) will be found on roadways across the globe, and by 2017, more than 5.1 million PEVs will be sold globally.  

In many markets, the majority of customers who purchase a PEV will purchase charging equipment for their home. At the same time, many cities and states are promoting the use of PEVs and installing EV charging systems as a means of reducing urban emissions.  

“Prices for EV charging equipment will fall by 37 percent through 2017 as costs are driven down by competition from large electronics companies as well as volume production,” said John Gartner, Pike’s research director. “With each new electric vehicle model that gets launched, makers of charging equipment, city planners, and retailers gain an increased sense that EVs are here to stay. This will encourage both the production and purchase of charging systems.”

The deployment of EV charging equipment will also have implications for electric utilities’ business models, researchers noted. The impact of power delivered through EV charging units could shorten the lifespan of some neighborhood distribution equipment, such as transformers or power lines. Some utilities are offering less expensive EV charging rates and time-of-use pricing, with power purchased overnight costing a fraction of the peak power price.

The benefits of off-peak charging will encourage nearly all equipment purchases to be smart charging units that can be programmed remotely. A number of pioneering utilities are beginning to invest in information technology and other smart grid equipment to accommodate the increased load, researchers pointed out.

Pike Research’s report, titled “Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment,” examines the growing global market for electric vehicle charging equipment and provides market analysis and forecasts for residential, workplace, public and private charge points.