DC fast charging is about to take off like a rocket-powered drag racer, according to IHS Automotive (NYSE: IHS). The market analysis firm’s new report predicts that the worldwide number of public fast chargers will grow to 5,900 by the end of 2013, nearly triple to 15,200 in 2014, and explode to almost 200,000 stations by 2020.
“The length of time it takes to recharge an EV continues to be one of the major stumbling blocks inhibiting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles,” said IHS Associate Research Director Alastair Hayfield. “Compared to the time it takes to refuel an ICE vehicle, the recharge time for EVs is incredibly slow, at about four hours to charge a 24 kWh capacity battery using a 6.6 kW on-board charger. If EV auto manufacturers could overcome this obstacle, it could lead to a high rate of adoption from environmentally minded consumers as well as those seeking to cut gasoline expenses. That’s where fast charging comes in.”
Source: IHS, Inc. August 2013
“IHS believes fast charging is a necessary step to promote higher adoption of EVs, but there will need to also be better consumer education regarding behavioral changes that may need to happen when owning an electric vehicle, such as charging overnight or at work,” Hayfield said.
The report describes the competing fast-charging standards – CHAdeMO, favored by Japanese automakers, and CCS, supported by German and US OEMs, and notes the advantages of Tesla’s third “Supercharger” standard, which operates at a higher power rating than current CHAdeMO or CCS chargers, and uses a proprietary plug interface. “The charging stations are free to use for Tesla owners, and there are plans to power all stations using photovoltaics,” Hayfield said. “These Superchargers represent a powerful proposition for Tesla – drivers can charge faster, have US-wide coverage by 2015 and will charge for free for life. This triple threat will aim to lock drivers into the Tesla experience, and also will give Tesla a perceived advantage over other original equipment manufacturers competing in the same market.”
IHS declined to predict the victor of the charging war, saying that “it’s clear that DC charging is becoming the favored means for supporting rapid, range-extension electric vehicles. But it is less clear as to whether CHAdeMO or CCS will win the battle for the consumer.”
Source: IHS Automotive