Report: Watch these 2 electric vehicle charging leaders

Which companies are hitting the accelerator in the electric vehicle charging space? According to a new report from cleantech firm Pike Research, the two companies taking an early lead from a technology standpoint are Coloumb Technologies and ECOtality.

Which companies are hitting the accelerator in the electric vehicle charging space? According to a new report from cleantech firm Pike Research, the two companies taking an early lead from a technology standpoint are Coloumb Technologies and ECOtality.

Both companies did particularly well when it came to their partnerships, products and overall sales strategy. For example, a few months back ECOtality announced an agreement with Cisco that will plug its Blink charging network right into home energy management systems. This week, the company scored another big deal, this time with real estate management company Jones Lang LaSalle. Under that relationship, the two companies will identify more than 2,000 potential corporate host site locations that could become part of The EV Project. (That's a plan to install electric vehicle charging stations in major metropolitan areas in six states.)

Coulomb has been doing well with corporate partnerships and installations. In early May, for example, the company's charging technology showed up as part of Connect by Hertz's global electric vehicle expansion project in New York City. Coulomb is developing something called the ChargePoint Network, which is now operating in 14 different countries.

There are 10 companies in all that are tracked by the Pike Research report, and the companies that follow these two leaders are Elektromotive, which has a strong European following, and AeroVironment, which is doing well with equipment for industrial vehicles.

In a statement, Pike Research analyst John Gartner said:

"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. 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."

So, apparently, Coulomb and ECOtality shouldn't necessarily be thinking about their victory laps yet -- there are many miles to go in the electric vehicle charging technology rollout. But these two are definitely the ones to watch. Any bets on which will be acquired first?

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