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A golden age for electric vehicle telematics?

22 December 2011

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According to a recent study by Pike Research’s of the market opportunity for telematics in plug-in electric vehicles, the annual revenue from sales of EV telematics will reach $1.4 billion (€1.07 billion) by 2017. EV telematics are expected to play a key role in smart grids. Major suppliers of telematics outside the automotive industry are also looking into developing telematics for electric vehicles.
For electric vehicles, telematics can deliver information on electric usage, pricing, and state of charge to owners. Telematics can help drivers to check on the battery, the charge rate and even assist them to find the nearest charging station. The technology could play a crucial role in the development of the electric vehicle market.

Telematics: key role in smart grids
In the future, EV telematics are expected to play a key role in smart grids. The ability of EV telematics to communicate with both utilities and the grid will help drivers to anticipate the location and duration of PEV charging. Advance knowledge of where a load on the grid will be located or the length of time that a vehicle may be attached to the grid will ultimately help utilities manage the grid.  Many manufacturers are developing telematics that can assist drivers to find the closest charging stations within range of the battery’s current state and facilitate vehicle-to-grid (V2G) energy transfers.

Connected vehicle telematics market to expand
Telematics systems for PEVs come in two varieties: basic telematics and connected vehicle telematics. Basic telematics systems can provide simple data connections for emergency services, charging equipment locations and vehicle monitoring. Connected telematics are more advanced and can provide live traffic, weather, streaming content, and cloud computing-based applications.
According to Pike Research’s analysis drivers of electric vehicles tend to prefer more elaborate connected vehicle telematics. The analysis also indicates that 80% of PEVs will install connected vehicle systems by 2017. Those costlier packages will push average revenue per user (ARPU) for electric vehicle telematics to $13.27 (€10.16) by 2017, up from $10.65 (€8.16) now.
According to Pike Research, nearly 90% of plug-in electric vehicles sold this year include at least a basic telematics package, and that percentage will likely grow to 94% by 2017.  It is anticipated that the annual revenue from sales of EV telematics will arrive $1.4 billion (€1.07 billion) by 2017. 

‘Culture Shock’ for outside telematics manufactures 
Major suppliers of EV telematics will be wireless equipment manufacturers coming from outside the automotive industry. These manufactures are expected to endure a ‘culture shock’ according to some automobile insiders as automakers generally target an 8 to 10-year lifespan for wireless equipment, as opposed to the 2 to 3-year lifespan for wireless devices that the outside manufactures are used to producing. In order to ensure long-term compatibility with the wireless network, most hardware manufactures are targeting 3G services with their modems.


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