Analysis predicts extremely disruptive, total transition to EV / autonomous vehicles in 13 years

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(Tech Xplore)—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.

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 vehicles.

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 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 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 negative value.

The 77-page 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.

Explore further

The future car is driverless, shared and electric

More information: Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030:

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Citation: Analysis predicts extremely disruptive, total transition to EV / autonomous vehicles in 13 years (2017, May 9) retrieved 20 October 2019 from
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User comments

May 09, 2017
Excellent. This amount of economic activity should wipe out the deficit completely. In addition, healthcare will become extremely cheap through automation as well.

May 09, 2017
These predictions serve to maintain investment capital, and accomplish that propose.

Such predictions ignore the fact that people in general DO NOT WANT this technology.

May 09, 2017
Dammit Otto, you are not ignored on this page, so I saw your post - and thought a lot of it.
I can say I certainly am rooting for this report's accuracy.....

May 09, 2017
People don't care about what the technology is, they just want their life more convenient, which all these technologies create. I'm not sure where you getting the generalization that people don't want this tech. I guess you haven't been talking to taxi drivers or EV buyers, or auto manufactures or Elon Musk or... who do you talk to?

May 09, 2017
Of course the people who stand to profit from autonomous automobile technology -- or who think they can profit from it -- want it. People who can't drive for various reasons would benefit from the technology. But the general population does not want it. I don't know a single person who has expressed a desire for an autonomous vehicle. In talking to coworkers, friends, neighbors, etc., I have not found a single person who wants the technology.

You can always find someone who wants the newest technology just because it is new technology. But there are not a lot of the general public who are blogging, tweeting, etc. who are saying they can't wait to get an autonomous vehicle.

The desire for this technology is just not there.

May 10, 2017
Lets hope the designers and manufacturers of these cars haven't employed some teenager for minimum wage and stolen the control OS from an open source robotics portal.

Due diligence .... Yeah Right M8!

May 10, 2017
This paper is pure BS. It doesn't even mention the fanatical resistance that would explode as millions of people with their jobs at stake in the Oil, automobile, and related industries, take to the streets in protest. Or, would they just all say, "Hey, I'm losing my job, but I'll be able to look for a new one with an autonomous vehicle!."

And what about the executives with real power in these companies who are part of the elites that run Washington? Who really thinks that they are going to step aside and watch their empires collapse? The Oil industry (next to the banks and defense industries) literally own the government puppets we elect.

The people who are behind this nonsense have an obvious agenda, and their 13yr time frame is low by at least 10 - 15 yrs, and probably more.

This article is pure propaganda to lure investors and should never have been OKed to be published here. Likely, it came with an "incentive" for the publication.

May 10, 2017
As well as all the power grid infrastructure upgrades required to charge these vehicles.

May 10, 2017
The desire for this technology is just not there.
This technology would significantly reduce traffic fatalities. With design changes in the transportation vehicles you could be as comfortable as if you were lounging on the couch at home. Travel with friends and family would be greatly enhanced!
I feel you underestimate how awesome it will be to have this electric chauffeur.

May 10, 2017
I am unable to imagine a world where the public gets what it actually wants unless we return to the stone age and interact individually. Transportation is what we are warring about in the Middle East. To stop the potential rise of a new Silk Road using rail.
The future of economic growth in the US is all transportation. The cargo containers shipped from the East coast of ASIA to USA west coast and unloaded robotically onto self driving trucks using robotically controlled traffic lanes does without human costs.
I strongly believe the US has prepared this choice which will utilize humans in a military oversight capacity with littorals and drones to identify and quarantine drugs which we conveniently arranged to be the only product of the interior of Asia.
Just a global version of poverty families destined to fill privatized jails. The saddest of all possible futures the world seems determined to create.

May 10, 2017

I think and I hope this is one of the technologies where everybody says "Don't need it don't want it" but once they have it or experienced it they want it...

I don't commute to work (I work from home) but still would like to have a autonomous car that can drive me anywhere safely.

May 10, 2017
Pie in the sky. Any large scale adoption has to take into account how terrible most people are at vehicle maintenance and software updates. The car next to you may be driving to a map that's years out of date. Unexpected failure modes will mean inexperienced drivers having to unexpectedly take the wheel at the worst possible times. And I still haven't seen proof that these vehicles can deal with motorcycles.

May 10, 2017
"Pie in the sky. Any large scale adoption has to take into account how terrible most people are at vehicle maintenance and software updates. The car next to you may be driving to a map that's years out of date. Unexpected failure modes will mean inexperienced drivers having to unexpectedly take the wheel at the worst possible times. And I still haven't seen proof that these vehicles can deal with motorcycles."

-How do you update your computer and phone software now? What makes you think they will let cars on the road that cant 'deal' with motoryccles?

What makes you think these issues wont all be solved before you get your first AI car?

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