Pike Research reports demand for electric vehicle telematics is set to expand at a rapid rate. Annual revenue of telematics will reach $1.4 billion by 2017. According to Pike’s research, nearly nine out of 10 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) sold this year will include at least a basic telematics package, and that percentage will grow to 94 percent by 2017.

Vehicle telematics is the technology that contains wireless communications and GPS systems such as satellite communication mobile data and safety communication. In electric vehicles it is also the system that displays battery life charging stations within range, etc.

Volt Telematics

Pike’s Research report analyzes the market opportunity for telematics in plug-in electric vehicles, including market forces, technology, government influence on the market, key drivers of the growth and profiles of key market players. Credit: GM

A key group of players in the EV telematics supply chain will be wireless equipment manufacturers coming from outside the automotive industry, who are accustomed to more compressed product development time frames than carmakers use.

“The hardware manufacturers are experiencing a bit of a culture shock,” said senior research analyst Dave Hurst, “as automotive development generally targets an eight- to 10-year lifespan, compared to a two- to three-year lifespan for other wireless devices. For this reason, despite the fact that much of the data being transferred in PEV telematics can be done easily with a slow GSM connection, most hardware manufacturers are targeting 3G services with their modems to ensure compatibility with the wireless network long term.”

Pike breaks down telematics into two types. Basic systems that offer simple data connections for emergency services, breakdown calls and charging stations will be standard in most PEVs by 2017. Connected systems offer more elaborate features such as live traffic, weather and streaming content; cloud computing-based applications are what consumers want. Pike Research’s analysis indicates that by the end of the forecast period 80 percent of PEVs will come with connected telematics installed.

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