Telematics to play vital role in EV ownership
'Neighbourhood electric vehicles (NEVs) and city electric vehicles (CEVs) have a modest driving range of less than 100 miles,' said Frost & Sullivan's global program manager for telematics and infotainment, Praveen Chandrasekar. 'Therefore, they require some form of charging environment related alerts and smart navigation that informs the driver of the charge status, distance covered with charge remaining, and charging stations on the route.'
As a result, Frost & Sullivan's report – Strategic Market and Technology Assessment of Telematics Applications for Electric Vehicles – finds that telematics will have a penetration of more than 80% of all new EVs sold by 2015. Smart navigation hardware will become a standard feature in all new EVs sold by 2015, however users will face additional service costs that are bundled along with energy subscription plans.
The most important telematics service will be to provide charging environment-related POIs like the location of the next charging station and the ability to book that charging station. Other significant telematics services will include connecting to the battery and knowing the state of charge. These services will enter the market first.
Several OEMs, including Renault, Nissan and GM, are currently developing ingenious telematics concepts for their upcoming EV models like the Fluence, LEAF and Chevrolet Volt. Their real challenge, however, will be to ensure mass market adoption of EVs while providing adequate infrastructure support, says Frost & Sullivan. Moreover, as EVs will remain niche products for a majority of the conventional OEMs, it remains to be seen whether they will incur development expenses or invest the time to create dedicated telematics concepts for their EVs. This will indirectly impact the involvement of traditional telematics companies in the EV initiative.
Incentives and tax rebates by local governments in Europe and the United States will boost the initial uptake of EVs. Additionally, some companies are developing wholesome EV service packages ranging from charging/swapping services to 360 degree telematics packages that will enable OEMs to take the lead in this market.