Mike Stevens | Jun 25, 2009

WITH JUST ABOUT every volume-selling carmaker - and more than a few supercar and luxury manufacturers - getting set to offer all-electric vehicles in the near future, a universal infrastructure is vital.

So important is the electric car's future in the new car market that, according to US consulting firm Pike Research, the number of recharge points for electric vehicles around the globe will surpass 5 million by the year 2015.

“While electric vehicles will be primarily charged at home, a strong funding push by governments will mean that more than half of all charge points will be public charging stations by 2015,” Industry analyst John Gartner said.

“Retailers will also install public access stations primarily as a marketing tool, and many companies will also offer workplace charging stations for their employees.”

Pike Research expects that China will lead the world in sheer numbers of charging stations, representing nearly half of the total market, thanks to strong government support for all-electric motoring.

The US is likely to be the second largest market for electric vehicles, and Pike estimates more than one million charging stations will be in place in the United States by 2015.

Pike Research believes that by 2015, efficient integration of the charging infrastructure will ensure minimal impact on the existing electricity grid of most cities, although neighbourhoods with high concentrations of EVs will need upgrades to minimise drag on the grid.

Mitsubishi-i-MiEV_09

In Australia, infrastructure projects lead by companies like Better Place and its partnership with Macquarie Capital Group and AGL Energy will ensure that buyers of upcoming EVs in Australia, such as the Mitsubishi i MiEV and Nissan's 2012 entrant, will be well catered to.

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