Pike Research Provides 10 Plug-In Car Predictions for 2013

By · December 21, 2012

Plug-in vehicle image

With 2012 now nearly in the history books and 2013 right around the corner, Pike Research, in a free online whitepaper, made 10 specific plug-in vehicle predictions that its envisions for the new year.

As Pike states, sales of plug-in vehicles will hit 210,000 units globally in 2013. Rising sales will be directly related to the introduction of at least 36 plug-in vehicles that will debut across the globe in 2013. Pike also suggests that plug-in vehicle sales will continue to rise rather rapidly in California, and believes that China will finally enter the plug-in segment with some degree of authority.

Here's a brief summary of Pike Research's 10 plug-in vehicle predictions for 2013:

1. Capital shifts from vehicles to battery components. Pike says that most funding in 2013 will shift to firms making batteries or battery components.

2. Sales of electric bikes will surge. Pike predicts that sales for the global electric bike industry will hit 33.6 million units in 2013.

3. 48-volt lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries will become commonplace, especially in the heavy-duty segment. Pike says that several automakers will design vehicles that utilize 48-volt batteries.

4. At least 3,400 fuel cell vehicles will be on the road by the end of 2013, though most will still only be available to fleets and through trial programs.

5. Battery swapping is on its way out. The idea of swapping "will fade further into the rear-view mirror in 2013,” according to Pike.

6. Germany will lead Europe’s slower-than-expected charge in the plug-in vehicle segment. German automakers will introduce at least seven plug-ins in 2013.

7. Coasting technology will be utilized by automaker's to raise fuel economy of internal combustion engines to better compete with plug-ins. Here, coasting implies that an engine shut offs when there's no pressure applied to the accelerator pedal.

8. The "slow" versus quick charging debate continues. In 2013, quick-charging will become more available, but its high price will lead host sites to also provide less expensive Level 1 setups.

9. Europe's extensive plug-in vehicle charging infrastructure will become an example for the rest of the world to follow.

10. The rise of natural gas vehicles and the abundance of this type of clean and relatively cheap fuel will cut into sales of plug-ins.


· · 5 years ago

I'd be interested to see how much of this transpires...

A). Unless the owner owns ALL the batteries to be swapped, it never made any sense. However, if a business owner owns ALL the batteries, then it makes perfect sense. But for general adoption, it was another looney idea. So saying there will be minimal battery swapping is about as safe a prediction as saying the sun is going to rise tomorrow.

B). You mean we are going to have MORE choice than a Honda Civic? I thought $500 home refuelers were still a few years off. We need more info if you're still claiming 2013.

C). As a regular bike rider, I'd think electric bikes would be just a Fad. The big effort with most people is just to initially get ON a bike, period. Maybe another Trendy Gift for the rich and famous.

D). GM was hawking a '42' volt (really 36) system a decade ago that was going to be the Next Latest and Greatest. Went absolutely NOWHERE. 48 volts will become commonplace? Thats what GM said. I haven't seen any compelling evidence requiring replacement of the 12 volt system. Conversion from 6 to 12 volts made sense at the time due to much cheaper and energy efficient auto radios. I see no such compelling need for a change this time, and I'd be interested to see how that change is going to save me 15% in gas consumption. Both my electric cars have 12 volt systems in them. The volt is the only car on the market probably that could benefit from a 48 volt system, but thats only due to its unbelievable complication. A better use of time would be to simplify the volt. I can't criticize it too loudly, since its the most popular amoung owners of all time.

E). To your point #8, that means we are only going to have Level 1 and expensive Level 3? Oh Great! That means I'm only going to have level 1.

· · 5 years ago

Someone mentioned on InsideEv's that the 48 volt battery would be the ONLY battery in a hybrid. So then, since youve got 'stop/start' technology, you'd use the 48 volt battery for the accelleration and regen also. If that's the case, and a case can be made for only having one battery, then I guess its reasonable. But all the 'car stuff' would have to be duplicated, and that means more parts to inventory at auto shops/ repair shops, etc.

· SVL (not verified) · 5 years ago

I'm not sure point 10 is correct. I'm talking about the devastating effects fracking has on the environment. So it's not as clean as they want you to believe.

· · 5 years ago

Adding to SVL's point: The hassles and hazards surrounding gaseous fuels are also likely to reduce point 10.
I'm also skeptical of point 4 but it will be interesting to see.

· · 5 years ago

These end-of-the-year prediction lists are always fun. We should attempt to return to this article one year from now and see how much of it came to fruition.

Regarding the battery swapping Better Place business model: I could never see how this would work on a consumer level, at least here in the US. I'll add my "whatever happened to?" vote on this one as well. Perhaps when we get Jetson-style ion propulsion flying EVs, they'll make a comeback . . .


But, more pragmatically, I can certainly see how eBikes will become more popular . . . especially in developing countries, where car ownership is more difficult. Hub motors for these bikes, which were rather expensive just a few short years ago, are now comparatively cheap and plentiful . . .


This MIT prototype hub motor (article is a few years old, so I don't know what the current status is) dispenses with extra wires on the bike and has Blutooth connectivity to control the motor from the handlebar throttle . . .


Regarding natural gas vehicles: the people who are promoting them, SVL, are the ones DOING the fracking, the oil companies. The concept will be greenwashed, as the tailpipe pollutants are less than with gasoline. But, yes, at what environmental cost at the extraction end of things?

Reality check: like it or not, we will need natural gas in the short term, as it's a cleaner way to run electrical power plants than coal. But it should be a bridge to truly renewable sources of energy . . . not the end game, as so many would like to see it.

Read Amory Lovins' book, Reinventing Fire, for a plan that includes natural gas, but actually envisions a way to decrease usage over the next several decades . . .


· · 5 years ago

Oh yeah, I forgot . . . the battery swap Jetson's flying car also has a fuel cell inside.

· · 5 years ago

Pike needs to pop open the trunk of a natural gas vehicle. Something tells me that safety and a giant gas-gas tank behind the kids in the back seat will never register as safe with customers. Plus there's the issue of where to place things that would normally go in the trunk, and which the trunk opens if it's already full.

I agree with Pike on battery swapping though. That just seems like it's too hard on a car. The idea of detaching and reattaching 600 pounds of hardware from a car every 50-100 miles, or just to top off, seems a bit much. Not that I've done it, but I think I'd rather ride a bike if I had to visit Prime Shine Express daily, or more, to drive a car. Maybe that was the idea though. hehe

· · 5 years ago

China auto sales are the big 2013 question mark? China sales numbers are expected to increase significantly again in the short-term. This is going to scare energy markets. The numbers are too big, getting bigger.

China needs to clean up its electricty source to power EVs. Solar and EVs are a natural. This is the next big thing.

· · 4 years ago

Per #1 would be awesome if US Justice Dept could look into the antitrust laws and force Big Oil into licensing, or releasing the patents on battery tech that they creepily hold.

Per number 4, The fuel cell issue is wild to me... the media and the ice industry players keep pushing it as the ' just around the corner'... when in reality...

1) all advances in plug in electric vehicles help the cause since fuel cells are really just different batteries for them.
2) The 'fuel reformer' method is interim at best as it is stupid. Rather than be fueled directly by hydrogen, lets take barrels of oil, highly refine them into gasoline and then use a reformer to break down the fuel to extract the hydrogen...
3) The holy grail of the fuel cell is minimizing the amount of platinum needed... this drives the costs. Ballard made huge advances and it still hasn'f been enough.

per #5 Swapping would be awesome for a Nissan leaf or Tesla Nascar competition... pit crews measured by how fast they safely swapped batteries and tires. Imagine the start of the race and backstretch acceleration.

per #6... other than promises VW... and the hip little bimmer i3... nothing from Germany.

Per #8 DC QC is awesome, need to fully support both standards... but for me for now... CHAdeMo looks great... it is not a pipe dream. Works great. Already for home to grid... even some lower speed ones that take less infrastructural upgrades to install from Fuji Electric.

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