The successful launch of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) depends greatly on the deployment of a robust residential and commercial network of charging equipment. This market is largely in its infancy as many of the companies involved have been selling product for less than five years, but the competition in this sector is set to intensify as the stakes grow larger in the coming years. According to a new Pike Pulse report published by Pike Research, two electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) vendors stand out above the crowd in terms of their strategy and execution in the early days of this market: Coulomb Technologies and ECOtality.

The electric vehicle charging equipment market is in its formative stages, and business models are still developing as vendors gain experience with charging station deployments,” says Senior Analyst John Gartner. “Pure-play EVSE vendors are taking the early lead, but looming behind them are several companies that announced products in 2010 and will be shipping in volume during 2011. These major players — Siemens, GE, and Eaton, among others — have developed the makings of a good product strategy, but have yet to execute on their extensive global resources and marketing channels.”

Gartner adds that Coulomb attained the highest overall score in the Pike Pulse report due to the company’s successful technology partnerships, global sales network, and extensive product portfolio. Coulomb is rated highest in both the Strategy and Execution dimensions. ECOtality is the runner-up and is assessed as second in both Strategy and Execution. ECOtality’s contract to provide equipment to the federally funded EV Project, which it is also managing for the U.S. Department of Energy, is driving the majority of the company’s sales, and ECOtality likewise has formed extensive partnerships and has a strong product portfolio.

Also sharing in the early EVSE market are Elektromotive and AeroVironment, which rank third and fourth, respectively, in Pike Research’s assessment. Elektromotive has had a strong showing in the European market and has sold into nearly a dozen countries internationally. AeroVironment has a strong technical background based on its experience developing charging equipment for industrial vehicles.

The “Pike Pulse Report: Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment” evaluates 10 of the leading EVSE suppliers and rates them on 12 criteria for strategy and execution, including go-to-market strategy, product portfolio, partnerships, innovation, reach, market share, pricing, and staying power. Using Pike Research’s Pike Pulse methodology, vendors are profiled, rated, and ranked with the goal of providing industry participants with an objective assessment of these companies’ relative strengths and weaknesses in the emerging EVSE marketplace. The Pike Pulse scoring reflects the current state of the industry at the time of its compilation, and vendor ratings are likely to change as the market matures and becomes more competitive.

Source: Pike Research