Automakers behind the winning technology will benefit from having an established supply chain and an extensive network, making their vehicles potentially more attractive to customers worried about embarking upon longer journeys, analysts say.
Manufacturers that back losing plugs, however, could end up with redundant research and development and may have to invest to adapt assembly lines and vehicle designs so their customers can use the most widespread fast-charging networks.
Swiss banking giant UBS has estimated that USD360 billion will need to be spent over the next eight years to build global charging infrastructure to keep pace with EV sales, and it will be key to limit the numerous technologies now in use. “The quick-charging marketplace might be growing fast but the issue of different types of connectivity and communication will need to be resolved going forward,” UBS said in a study published this month.
It is still early days for EVs and difficult to predict which plug technology will prevail or even whether there will always be different ways to charge vehicles, unlike the one-size-fits-all nozzle that can refill all gasoline or diesel cars. But there is a lot at stake for the automakers ploughing billions of dollars into the development of batteries and EVs.