Analysis predicts extremely disruptive, total transition to Electric +
Autonomous vehicles by 2030
|RethinkX, an independent think tank that
analyzes and forecasts disruptive technologies, has released an astonishing
report predicting a far more rapid transition to EV/autonomous
vehicles than experts are currently predicting. The report is based on an
analysis of the so-called technology-adoption
S-curve that describes the rapid uptake of truly disruptive
technologies like smartphones and the internet. Additionally, the report
addresses in detail the massive economic implications of this prediction
across various sectors, including energy,
transportation and manufacturing.
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Energy - the Coming Era
Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030 suggests that within 10
years of regulatory approval, by 2030, 95 percent of
U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric
vehicles (AEVs). The primary driver of this unfathomably huge change
in American life is economics: The cost savings of using
transport-as-a-service (TaaS) providers will be
so great that consumers will abandon individually owned
vehicles. The report predicts that the cost of TaaS will save the
average family $5600 annually, the equivalent of a 10 percent raise in salary.
This, the report suggests, will lead to the biggest
increase in consumer spending in history.
Consumers are already beginning to adapt to TaaS with the broad availability of
ride-sharing services; additionally, the report says, Uber, Lyft and Didi are
investing billions developing technologies and services to help consumers
overcome psychological and behavioral hurdles to shared transportation such as
habit, fear of strangers and affinity for driving. In 2016 alone, 550,000
passengers chose TaaS services in New York City alone.
"Our analysis indicates that 2021 is the most likely date for the disruption
point," the report reads. "The TaaS disruption will be what is called a 'Big
Bang Disruption': The moment that TaaS is available, it will outcompete the
existing model in all markets. We find that within 10 years from this point, 95
percent of U.S. passenger miles will be traveled by TaaS."
In part, the analysis is based on findings that the greater the improvement in
cost or utility, the more likely it is that people will adopt it.
The energy sector
The TaaS disruption will crater the value chain of the oil industry as demand
plummets. By 2030, the report predicts that oil demand will drop to 70 million
barrels per day. The resulting collapse in prices will be catastrophic for the
industry, and these effects are likely to be felt as early as 2021.
The report suggests that oil demand from passenger road
transport will drop by 90 percent by 2030; demand from the trucking
industry will drop by 7 million barrels per day globally. This is, as the report
says, an existential crisis for the industry. Current share prices and
projections are based on the presumption of a system of individually owned
The passenger vehicle value chain
The impact on passenger vehicle manufacturing will be similarly large. The value
metrics for this disruptive chain will be completely different from today's
measurements. The report says, "From the date at which adoption of TaaS begins
(the 2021 disruption point in our model), the key unit of measurement
will be miles traveled, with four variants as the key indicators:
passenger miles, vehicle miles, dollar cost-per-mile
and dollar revenues per mile."
Those manufacturers who adapt to these new metrics are the likeliest to survive.
The report estimates that passenger miles will rise
by 50 percent to 6 trillion miles by 2030, but
revenues for the industry will shrink 70 percent,
from $1.5 trillion in 2015 to $393 billion by 2030.
A side effect is the abandonment of internal combustion engine vehicles—around
97 million will be stranded by 2030, creating a gigantic surplus as demand
evaporates. Car dealerships are toast—the report predicts that
new vehicle annual
unit sales will plummet by 70 percent. To
drive that point home, it also says demand for new internal combustion vehicles
as a platform will disappear by 2024. Used cars will plunge to zero, or even to
The 77-page report dives
deep into the multiplex issues around transportation technologies and related
economics, suggesting a horizon much closer than legislators, regulators and
shareholders are currently predicting.