For a long time, the auto industry has basically just been about selling cars (and trucks, SUVs, etc). However, electric vehicles are a new breed of automobile. Actually, there’s a lot more “auto” potential with these vehicles, as well as linkages to new models of revenue production that are a natural fit.
Navigant Research argues that “the coming year will see automakers move into multiple adjacent markets, including tapping into plug-in EVs’ inherent connectivity to offer information and entertainment options and operating their own carsharing services.”
Beyond infotainment and carsharing, Navigant also projects that EV manufacturers will be able to inch into demand response partnerships with utilities that could earn them a penny or two.
“One of the most promising avenues is partnering with utilities and energy aggregators to incorporate electric vehicles into demand response and other ancillary services,” says John Gartner, research director with Navigant Research.
Furthermore, as Tesla has shown, a lot of money can be made right now on selling zero-emission credits in California. That is definitely a going to be a continued revenue stream for some leaders (like Tesla) in 2014.
It’s not just a matter of finding ways to make even more, but also a matter of replacing lost revenue streams that come with EVs. The fact of the matter is — electric vehicles have very few parts compared to gasmobiles and require a ton less maintenance. That means less revenue for automakers and their dealers.
2014 is sure to be a record year for EV sales. Over a dozen new electrified car models are coming out, production is ramping up for the two most popular 100% electric vehicles (the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S), and consumer awareness is growing. 2013 saw 229% sales growth in the US EV market compared to 2012. Growth will be very high again in 2014, and automakers are going to want to make better and better associated revenue on that growth.
Navigant Research writes: “The global electric vehicle (EV) industry is expected to expand significantly in 2014. The selection of models will increase, as luxury automakers Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes, Saab, and Volvo will all introduce their first EVs and more affordable EV options are introduced by Kia, Mahindra, Skoda, and Volkswagen.”
There’s no doubt about it — the EV market is growing. But what will that mean for utilities, infotainment companies, and EV innovators?
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