Boulder, Colorado – Electric vehicles (EVs) will drive telematics, with worldwide sales of EV telematics expected to total $1.4 billion by 2017, according to Pike Research.

Telematics give the driver the ability to check on the battery and charge rate, and many manufacturers are developing applications that can provide details on where the closest charging stations are within range of the battery’s current state. Nearly nine out of every ten EVs sold this year will include at least a basic telematics package, and that percentage will likely grow to 94 per cent by 2017.

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

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

In addition, while basic telematics packages that offer simple data connections for emergency services, breakdown calls, charging station locations and diagnostics and vehicle monitoring will be standard features on most EVs by 2017, many consumers will want more elaborate packages that can provide life traffic and weather, streaming content, and cloud computing-based applications.

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