Coulomb Technologies ChargePointEnlarge Photo
We've talked a good bit about plug-in hybrids, fully electric vehicles, and the hurdles they'll have to jump before being fully embraced by consumers. Among the biggest of those obstacles is the necessary infrastructure for quickly charging the batteries in those vehicles--no matter where drivers find themselves.
The simplest approach to that problem--relatively speaking--is the one taken by Coulomb Technologies, which we highlighted just last week. Coulomb is currently manufacturing charging points for municipalities in North America and Europe--charging points with standard 110v and 220v capacity, which many automakers (e.g. Tesla) are designing cars to use. Tying such units into the power grid doesn't take much more than a licensed electrician and the usual city permits, and Coulomb's "ChargePoints" sell for $2,500 - $4,000 apiece, which is inexpensive enough for large-scale deployment.
Now, a new study from Pike Research has confirmed what start-ups like Coulomb already knew: infrastructure build-out is going to be big business. By 2015, the study expects five million charging points from a variety of manufacturers will be installed around the globe, netting a hefty $6.5 billion in revenue--and that's just from the manufacture and sale of the equipment. Fees that entrepreneurs charge customers to use the stations will bring in an additional chunk of change.
The study predicts that China will host more than the total number of charging stations, thanks to new government mandates that push owners toward electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The U.S. should log in second, with around one million in place by 2015. Interestingly, Denmark and Israel are also identified as EV hotspots.
And for those of you who eschew even the greenest EVs...well, at least you'll have a lot of places to charge your laptop.