If widespread use of electric vehicles is going to become a reality, then a charging infrastructure must be in place by the time a new crop of these vehicles is available — say, 2011. While that may sound like quite a while in the future, it’s not. It’s only 14 months away. Needless to say, the industries and consumers that are investing in electric vehicles are seeking innovators in the infrastructure development arena. We don’t just need a few re-charging stations scattered across cities and dotted along highways. We need a comprehensive, intelligent, user-friendly network, one that end users won’t have to puzzle through. Really, we’re starting from scratch, so we have the opportunity to do it right the first time. We don’t have to make a new infrastructure around an old system of traditional gas stations. Why not put charging stations where people will be parking for extended periods (like at work-places, malls, or at restaurants)? Why not make a network that will communicate with our electric vehicles and power grids so we can re-charge more intelligently? What we need is people, and organizations, that can seize this opportunity to design a new infrastructure that doesn’t just work right now, but will carry on long-term. And when these organizations strike down a path that’s going to get us all where we need to be, they should be recognized, not just for their own atta-boy back-patting sakes, but because hearing about these development accomplishments will boost consumers’ confidence that if they invest in an electric vehicle, the infrastructure they need will to re-charge them will be there.
That being said, one of the early innovators making considerable headway is Coulomb Technologies. They haven’t been content to follow anyone else’s lead, or to build on the status quo. They’ve asked a lot of “why do we do it this way?” and “how can we do it better?” and it shows. That’s why Frost and Sullivan has chosen 365 Energy Group, the international partner of Coulomb, as the recipient of their 2009 European Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Emerging Company Award. 365 and Coulomb haven’t just developed a set of cutting-edge products in their “ChargePoint” system. They’ve also demonstrated a keen three-stage marketing plan, targeting the public sector, corporate fleets and private consumers. It’s this ambitious combination that earned them Frost & Sullivan’s recognition.
“It’s unique vision of developing the infrastructure market in different stages ensures that it will have a coherent infrastructure by the time electric vehicles reach the mass market,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Leonor Martinez of the 365/Coulomb partnership.
By the time Frost and Sullivan selects their award recipient for 2010, hundreds of thousands of new electric vehicles will be on roads across the globe. How will the mobility landscape have changed between now and then? We’ll be keeping an eye on 365 and Coulomb to find out.
Source: Frost & Sullivan