The automotive sector will change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50. And the world is heading towards a cleaner transport system with benefits for the environment and for consumers as vehicles leave fossil fuels behind and go electric, argues Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Also, ownership patterns are set to change as a number of people opt to buy kilometres of mobility rather than secure a vehicle of their own – autonomous vehicles are set to debut in the 2020s and would accelerate this trend.
“At high utilisation rates, electric vehicles have much lower costs per kilometre and could be ideal for these types of applications,” McKerracher points out.
Automakers are pushing this along too. Volkswagen’s MOIA, future mobility subsidiary recently showed off a new electric vehicle designed explicitly for ridesharing. The EV, plus key supporting sharing infrastructure, will launch first in Hamburg. It boasts a range of over 300 km and can be charged to 80% in around half an hour.
There’s still work to be done to encourage adoption, with charging infrastructure still a major barrier, particularly in urban areas with limited off-street parking. Plus supply constraints for key battery materials such as cobalt, lithium and graphite could still slow down a continuation of the cost declines seen in recent years.