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Consolidation of Charging Networks Will Accelerate EV Adoption

One of the keys to driving the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) is the deployment of a robust public charging infrastructure that gives drivers the confidence that a recharge is only a few minutes away. In the United States, the rollout of charging stations is progressing, but currently the market is too fragmented in charging equipment manufacturers and networks to satisfy most EV owners. (Pike Research detailed many of the business challenges around EV charging business models in its 2011 report, Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment, and we are currently working on an update to that report.)

Consumers want to be able to plug in at any station, charge their car and pay with the simplicity of filling up with gas. Today, there are more than two dozen companies in the U.S. providing charging stations or operating charging networks, and for PEV drivers, this can require signing up for multiple payment accounts and learning the subtle differences in how the equipment operates. For these reasons, the news that two of the largest EV charging services companies could be merging should be considered a welcome event.
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