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March 29, 2010

UK: Telematics ‘can reduce EV range anxiety’

Research organisation Frost & Sullivan says that the introduction of telematics in electric vehicles (EVs) to provide point(s) of interest (POI) and alerts packages that make the user aware of the charging environment, can resolve range anxiety.

Research organisation Frost & Sullivan says that the introduction of telematics in electric vehicles (EVs) to provide point(s) of interest (POI) and alerts packages that make the user aware of the charging environment, can resolve range anxiety.

Unlike conventional vehicles for which it is still an expensive option, most hardware elements required for enabling these services will be built into the cost of the EV, it says. An EV driver will only pay an incremental amount for services included in the subscription they pay for battery leasing and energy plans.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that telematics will have a penetration of more than 80 per cent of all new EVs sold by 2015. Smart navigation hardware will become a standard feature in all new EVs sold by 2015, it says.

However users will face additional service costs that are bundled along with energy subscription plans.

“Neighbourhood electric vehicles (NEVs) and city electric vehicles (CEVs) have a modest driving range of less than 100 miles,” says Frost & Sullivan’s Global Program Manager for Telematics and Infotainment, Praveen Chandrasekar. “Therefore, they require some form of charging environment related alerts and smart navigation that informs the driver of the charge status, distance covered with charge remaining, and charging stations on the route.”

As the demand for NEVs and CEVs is likely to increase along with mega city expansion, the telematics development for these vehicle segments becomes increasingly vital, Frost says.

The most important telematics service will be to provide charging environment-related POIs like the location of the next charging station and the ability to book that charging station. Other significant telematics services will include connecting to the battery and knowing the state of charge. These services will enter the market first.

“Although EVs lead to a potentially new business model for telematics to be sold as a standard feature rather than a costly option, the future of this market depends on infrastructure development and smart energy planning,” said Chandrasekar. “Telematics development will be noticeably slow, if it remains a niche segment.”

“OEMs such as GM and BMW are expected to use their existing telematics packages like ‘OnStar’ and ‘Assist’ for the EVs as well,” concludes Chandrasekar. “OEMs that currently do not offer telematics, should opt for adoption packages such as the ‘Better Place EV service package’ that serve as a one-stop shop provider of all services needed for the EV.”

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