Buoyed by strong growth in the market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), the market for electric vehicle charging equipment — better known in the industry as electric vehicle supply equipment — has expanded rapidly in the last 18 months, as well.
This growth has also been fueled by government programs that have continued to support EV equipment deployments, and by companies that are bringing a broader portfolio of products to market. According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide sales of EV equipment will grow from around 442,000 units in 2013 to 4.3 million in 2022.
“As the EVSE market has matured, some of its early challenges, such as a lack of compatibility of charging units with various PEV models, have dissipated,” says Lisa Jerram, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Today there is increasing choice for consumers, including chargers with a wide range of power ratings, home chargers that are competing on price, public chargers with more options for payment and access, the first commercially available wireless charger, and an increasing number of high-speed DC chargers.”
This market, however, is not without growing pains, according to the report. The most notable challenges are related to the very large number of players competing for what remains, for now, a relatively small market. The industry still must devise an easy way for motorists to access public chargers hosted by a multitude of network operators, each of which often requires its own key card or access code. At the same time, the industry has not yet figured out how to expand public charging without relying on government subsidies.