The 'Electromobility Index' compiled by Roland Berger and the Aachen-based Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen (Research society for Automotive Issues) compares the competitive position of seven leading automotive economies - China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea and the U.S. - regarding electromobility.
According to the report Japan is the leader in electromobility penetration to the transportation market. This is due primarily to the lower cost of EVs in Japan compared to the other countries. In addition the charging infrastructure is more mature in Japan whereas in Europe the lack of such an infrastructure, interoperability and standardization issues present roadblocks towards the large-scale adoption of electromobility. Battery manufacturers in Japan (and in South Korea) master the entire battery production value chain, resulting in a competitive advantage for these countries. A similar approach is followed in the US with Tesla motors announcing the creation of a “gigafactory” for lithium-ion batteries which is expected to lower production costs, hence EV cost for the US consumer, leading to wider adoption.
Currently the US remains the lead market with 96.000 EVs sold in 2013. However, this is just a relatively small share of the total market. Under this aspect, France holds the top position: The share of e-cars in the total French market is 0.83%, US (0.62%) and Japan (0.59 %). In Germany, electric vehicles have a very small market share of 0.25% or just 7400 units sold.
Even though electromobility penetration levels worldwide are not impressive, the trend is upward and more car makers introduce electric models to the market. Research during the recent years focuses on reducing the recharging time for static charging (wired and wireless) and in parallel explores the transition from static charging to stationary and dynamic or on-the-go charging which allows for smaller batteries and faster recharging, alleviating many of the current EV charging issues. At the same time investments in EV charging infrastructure continue to grow as it can be seen here.
In this section the Electromobility R&D initiatives underway around the world is described focusing on the latest advances in the European continent, North America and Asia.
An indicative list of EV static, stationary and dynamic wireless charging systems (inductive and conductive) that are currently in various research, development and deployment stages is included in the current section.