The century old automobile industry is transforming to eMobility
Published by : Industrial Automation
Christie Fernandez, Founder & CEO, Sooorya EV Pte Ltd, Mobility Futurist & Clean Tech Evangelist.
What is the Future of Mobility in the near, medium and long term?
The future of mobility in the near term is electric drivetrains. New categories of electric vehicles such as PMDs (Personal Mobility Devices) will make their presence felt. PMDs will be available for last mile personal transportation in urban areas on a rental basis, with an option to pick up and drop in different locations. PMDs are also being used by food delivery personnel; however there are safety concerns due to the small wheelbase. Low speed 2/3/4- wheeler EVs for commercial purposes: ride-sharing, goods transport and food/eCom delivery will become common place.
In the medium term, electric and connected vehicles will be made available on a MaaS (Mobility as a Service) platform. Consumers pay subscription for usage, vehicle ownership will fade away. Opportunity to drive different types of vehicles based on one’s needs, on a subscription model, will become an attractive proposition.
In the long term, autonomous vehicles (AV) such as Robo-Taxis and ‘Service on Wheels’ AVs will provide personal services, while whisking you to your destination. Autonomous buses and trucks will start plying on dedicated routes, with enabling infrastructure.
Congested cities, with slow moving traffic will start Air-Taxis as a premium service, offering shuttle services between city centres and airports.
Is the automobile industry ready for this transition?
The century old automobile industry is transforming to eMobility. Legacy automobile manufacturers aren’t ready for this transition. Automobiles are morphing from mechanical to electronic. Software is replacing mechanical components such as steering wheels and pedals. Automobiles are transitioning towards ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared).
Startups, and technology companies will capture market share in this new eMobility business. EV skateboard platforms will standardise, with options to upgrade and customise. AV OS and hardware platform makers will consolidate, leaving a few dominant players in the market.
A leading automobile manufacturer describes itself as Smart Mobility SolutionsProvider. Not a product, but a solution?
Traditional vehicle sales and service business will fade away. MaaS with options for customers to freely pick and choose different class of vehicles depending on needs, within a subscription package may become the new norm. Ability to provide customer centric mobility solutions, catering to varied customer interests will determine the new market leaders.
Do electric vehicles need incentives or is it in need of infrastructure?
EVs need favourable policies – easy registration, low taxes and parking fees, etc. Adequate charging options and availability of 24/7 electricity is a must. Building EV ecosystems around transport hubs will provide a conducive environment for EVs to operate.
What should be the ideal mix of urban transportation?
Fully air-conditioned public transport – metro trains, buses, shuttle vans, taxis, etc., is a must for mass adoption of public transport.
Last mile connectivity through 2/3/4-wheelers that are affordable, convenient and comfortable is crucial to get people to give up their private vehicles.
Seamless transport across different vehicle categories using a single app that provides a unified route plan across different modes of transport and integrated fares/payment system will quicken adoption of public mobility solutions.
Commuters should benefit from affordable, reliable and competitive journey time relative to own transportation, in order to make the switch to public transport.
Christie Fernandez is on a mission to provide Affordable, Comfortable & Eco-friendly (ACE) mobility in the developing world. He is a serial Entrepreneur, Branding & Marketing Specialist with over 20 years of experience, consulting and providing solutions using design and technology to fortune 500 companies, corporates and startups. Christie believes he has found his purpose, which is to build an eco-friendly, sustainable and profitable clean transportation and energy ecosystem, catering specifically to the ride-sharing fleet segment in the emerging markets of the ASEAN region, Indian Subcontinent, Africa & South America.