Today, mobility is undergoing a fundamental transformation. The main disruptive forces driving it are alternative powertrains, connected and autonomous vehicles, and on-demand mobility services. Brand new markets are now appearing, while others are converging or even disappearing entirely.
The ones that will stay in the game are those able to implement the right innovation at the right time and secure the correct partnerships. However, futuristic trends won’t reshape mobility for business only, but for consumers as well.
Diesel crisis, environmental pollution, and urbanization, together with a world undergoing digital transformation are factors rapidly changing the automotive industry. The disruptive forces we mentioned above are expected to drive unprecedented change to the ecosystem.
The current vehicle-centric system is expected to be fully replaced by these advances to a new radically more efficient and driverless ecosystem, which is user-centered instead., Mobility-as-a-Service alone is expected to reach $240,400 million by the end of 2025, which is a growing rate at CARG of 32.6% from now.
As mobility evolves in a fast-shifting ecosystem collaboration will be key to developing the right solutions. Decisions on changes need to be made rapidly to adapt to the market. With all this in mind, we’re here to share some of the biggest trends and targets that will influence the future of e-mobility in the following years.
Probably the most used word in the automotive industry for the last couple of years, vehicle connectivity has been a massive step forward, laying the foundation for autonomous driving. Connected cars have already been on the market for some time.
However, Vehicle-to-Everything connectivity or V2X still needs further improvement with autonomous cars becoming a reality. It’s projected that the global market revenue of autonomous driving will increase to over $556 billion by 2026. This would lead to the creation of new data-driven business models and a huge potential for new revenue streams.
Moreover, the globally connected car market is expected to grow 270% by 2022, with over 125 million connected cars shipped during 2018-2022. Major economies like the UK and Germany are expected to reach almost 100% connected car penetration by next year. This makes connectivity the leading trend in e-mobility.
Manufacturers will become more similar in terms of technical performance, which means that connectivity will also be the main differentiator between brands. Digital payments are slowly turning into the preferred method as well, so pretty soon vehicles without connectivity will be perceived as unattractive for customers.
Connectivity is a crucial part of automotive evolution and a step towards autonomous driving. This makes it a baseline for implementing new concepts in the industry.
Autonomous driving comes naturally after connectivity. All leading automotive manufacturing companies have now shared their concepts for self-driving vehicles. Some of them even test them on the road already, Waymo, for instance.
This trend goes further into the future, and by 2030 it’s expected that only 25% of new vehicles will be at level 4 or 5 of automation. However, considering the set period of time, it’s still a significant increase.
This vehicle autonomy, on the other hand, will vastly impact shared mobility. It will allow vehicles to pick people up on their own and take them to their desired location. Automotive giants are now collaborating, in order to overcome the challenges and be the first to provide self-driving cars to the market. Some startups are also making the best of the moment and are racing to get into the mobility-as-a-service market with their new autonomous vehicles.
Being the most revolutionary and talked-about technology in the industry autonomous driving will change the way we travel for good
Shared mobility already has a strong influence on the automotive industry. Millennials find the pay-per-use offers more and more convenient. Buying a car doesn’t seem that attractive already because of the long-term commitment.
That’s why car subscription models are now available. They offer a single price for insurance, taxes, and maintenance in a flexible contract. You can now rent a car monthly at a fixed rate and you can change the vehicle model when desired. Pioneers like E-Flat and FlexDrive have already adopted this business model.
Even premium manufacturers such as Porsche saw the potential in subscription plans and now offer them for some of their vehicles. Volvo introduced Care, which has a minimum term of 24 months. Younger people now prefer such subscriptions, which makes manufacturers focus on more flexible models affordable for them.
The main thing modern consumers look for is convenience. Considering this trend, the auto industry made a shift towards convenient individualization. Online configurators were only the first step of the process. However, it couldn’t manage to satisfy consumers’ growing desire for personalization.
For that reason, manufacturers turned to CAD and 3D printing to realize early prototypes. These technologies allow personalization on a new level. Consumers can now build their desired vehicles using their smartphones.
Moreover, Artificial Intelligence now enables vehicles to learn from their driver’s preferences and behavior. This allows further adjustments to their personal needs.
Automotive sales are now also shifting to more personalized offers and flexible contracts such as the ones we mentioned. That way models and ownership periods depend on the consumer’s needs. All this makes personalization a crucial factor for customer satisfaction.
The number of ride-sharing users is constantly growing and on-demand mobility is becoming more and more ubiquitous.
This mobility method consists of a vehicle picking up several people with similar roads and calculates the most efficient one for all is already being tested by a number of providers and even implemented by some, such as Ioki, which is now available in Germany.
What’s more auto manufacturers such as Volkswagen also provide on-demand services, like the MOIA one that already operates in Hannover. Volkswagen innovations in the sphere add even more to the potential of such solutions, with their main goal to eliminate the need for personal vehicles, in order to free cities from congestions.
Regulations are slowly but surely bringing electric vehicles to the market. They now offer a number of benefits, such as favorable licensing arrangements and special highway lane, for instance.
Just like autonomous vehicles, electric ones were once fiction. Now electric mobility is expanding rapidly. Norway is the global leader in terms of electric market share and the global electric car fleet exceeded 5,1 million in 2018.
However, electric vehicles still face some challenges, such as the batteries and raw materials needed to produce them. A number of startups, as well as established OEMs, opened up for EV business in 2018 and even more began production this year. Commercial vehicles are also a part of their plans. China is still the leader in the EV market, gaining 46% of the market share.
Electric vehicles are a main trend in the automotive industry but it’s now clear that we still need a broad power-train portfolio to last for longer.
Hydrogen vehicles have a range like a fuel engine and emission-free output like an ordinary electric motor, but with a refueling time of just 3-5 minutes. The first such vehicle was launched on the market back in 2014 by Toyota.
The cost of hydrogen vehicles was the biggest problem at first. However, cost is currently falling and with the start of mass production, the trend will continue. You still don’t find a wide range of vehicles to choose from, but today more and more models are entering the market.
It’s widely believed that fuel cells are a breakthrough in electric mobility. A number of truck and train models already use the technology and it’s expected that the trend will spread across all transportation models, except aircraft.
A Bright Future For E-Mobility
In the next couple of years, the pace of change in mobility will continue to quicken. Some cities have already started building their smart infrastructure in order to be ready for the innovative vehicles expected in the near future. Moreover, connectivity in vehicles is constantly increasing, which opens up new opportunities, such as improvements in predictive maintenance, for instance.
With all the emerging trends in e-mobility, we’ve listed above the roads will significantly change. The future now begins to unfold and technological disruptions come with it. The automotive industry is an exciting sphere right now. However, all those innovations promise a better, more environmentally-friendly future.