DRIVEN BY ACCELERATING CONSUMER DEMAND, virtually every auto manufacturer in the world now offers an EV. According to the website Inside EVs, November 2016 marked the 14th consecutive month of record gains for plug-in sales in America. Sales of EVs in Janu- ary through November 2016 were up 31% over the same period in 2015. Interestingly, the gains came without Tesla sales in November, since the com- pany was busy retooling its Fremont, Calif., assembly line to accommodate the arrival of a fully self-driving EV by 2018. “In general, the market for EV charg- ing systems is exploding,” said Karl Pedersen, director of the energy services group for Albany, New York-based Wolberg Electrical Supply. “Although we have seen a pretty good burst of demand in New York State, we have not seen an increase to the extent that the national market has increased.” Wolberg serves electricians and specialized EV supply equipment (EVSE) installers, such as PlugIn Stations Online (PISO). “EV charger installation has become a spe- cialized field; there seem to be a lot of companies specializ- ing in it,” Pedersen noted.” On large projects, the special- ized installers often buy EVSE direct from manufacturers.” PISO just landed one such project: 46 dual Level 2 stations for multiple municipalities along the I- 90 corridor. According to John Doran, PISO’s busi- ness manager and co-founder, “Two state programs—one from NYSERDA [New York State Energy Research and Development Authority] and one from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation [NYS- DEC]—are fueling much of the cur- rent activity. The NYSDEC program targets municipalities. It requires municipalities to provide a 20% cost share, which can be in kind. It typically costs $8,000 per port for equipment, software, and installation, and virtually all stations are dual port, so that’s $16,000 per charging station. All a city has to pay is $3,200 to get $16,000 from NYSDEC for a dual Level 2 charging station.” Both local government and utility companies are strong markets for EVSE busi- ness. Jim Woods serves as product manager for clean energy products in the Southeast region of Fargo, North Dakota- based Border States Electric Supply. “We sell Level 2 chargers to indi- vidual homeowners and utilities; we supply equip- ment pricing and sup- port,” he explained. “The utilities know our exper- tise in charging stations, and they often check with us on proposed projects. The utilities are actively marketing EV chargers. It’s a good way to sell electricity, and some sell the chargers with installa- tion too. Duke Energy has incentivized customers in North Carolina to get EV chargers and is working on a similar program in South Carolina. “Different utilities han-
BUSINESS / MARKET FOCUS
IS THE EV ADOPTION
TO AN END?
results of a recent reportlinker survey
about the adoption of EVs by u.s. citizens
indicate that EVs aren’t yet mainstream, largely
because most americans still don’t see them as a
practical alternative to fossil fuel cars.
Key results from the survey show that:
1. few americans are interested in buying an EV today: 81% said
they wouldn’t envision buying an EV for their next vehicle purchase.
2. americans are divided about whether EVs offer real benefits, but the data indicate that
both brand awareness and knowledge about how the vehicles work is low: 40% couldn¹t specify
the autonomy range of a battery-electric vehicle, and many weren’t familiar with the auto brands
that are leading the way on EV development.
3. Millennials view EVs more favorably than the rest of the population: When asked what they
felt was the best alternative to traditional fuel vehicles, nearly half (48%) said hybrids and other
EVs, making them a promising new market for automakers.
so while EV adoption has had a slow start, there are signs attitudes may be changing—and
adoption of the EV may be nearing a tipping point. While sales remained flat at 1 million through
2015, the EV industry is showing signs of potential growth. in March 2016, when tesla began
taking preorders for its affordable EV, the Model 3, it received 325,000 reservations in the first
week. find the full report at reportlinker.com. —tED
34 the ELEC TRICAL DISTRIBUTOR • Feb. 17