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May 1, 2018updated 02 May 2018 10:44am

Mobility 2030: The Infinite Car and Electric Vehicles

How can a mobility ecosystem help transform the way individual responds to constant changing technology developments?

By April Slattery

The mobility sector is just another area that is moving all too quickly in the technology world, with electric vehicles and autonomous cars set to soon take over the streets. KPMG leveraged such developments into a new initiative, ‘Mobility 2030’; looking at ways to respond to technological developments and changing attitudes.

What is Mobility 2030?

Christoph Domke, Director of Mobility 2030

In 2016 KPMG convened senior stakeholders with an interest in the mobility ecosystem, to architect what is now the Mobility 2030 network. This initiative seeks to respond to the transformational social, technological and economic shifts which are fundamentally transforming the way people and products are moved.

We believe that this represents one of the most pervasive global shifts reshaping our world, providing huge opportunities and threats to our clients. More than 200 contributors have participated to date, from very large companies to start-ups, with a shared objective to create collaboration and jointly shape the ecosystem’s evolution.

How did KPMG build this future vision of the mobility landscape?

Edward Ataii, Associate Director of Mobility 2030

Our future vision of the mobility landscape has been built up through extensive engagement with the market to consider and test critical themes. This has taken the form of collaborative events, as well as engagements with our clients as we have supported them to think through how to best respond to their key opportunities and threats.

Our view is broad – we have mobility hubs across the globe, including in London, Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Stuttgart, Munich, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney. It is also deep – our relationships span the converging value chains across the mobility ecosystem, from OEMs, to the automotive supply chain, oil and gas companies, utilities, fleet and leasing companies, media, telecoms, payments providers, insurance, technology, financial investors, regulators and legislators to name just a few.

What will be the biggest disrupters to the mobility ecosystem?

Given the backdrop of population growth, urban agglomeration and growing environmental awareness, a change in the way we move people and goods, is a necessity to support cities and economies to function and grow. This shift will be primarily fuelled by three key technological disruptive trends – electrification of vehicles (EV) and alternative powertrains (for passenger vehicles, LCVs, MCVs, HGV), connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) and Mobility as a Service (MaaS). Each of these disruptors has the potential to significantly disrupt the ecosystem; however, in combination, the impact will be truly transformational.

Source: KPMG Mobility 2030 analysis

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How will business be disrupted by the transformation in the mobility ecosystem?

We believe that the current vehicle-centric system will be replaced with a radically more efficient, service-based, data enabled and driverless ecosystem. This ecosystem will be built around the customer who will be able to seamlessly transition between public, private, on-demand and scheduled modes of transport. This will result in a move away from linear value chains to a complex ecosystem of interconnected and interdependent value chains. New entrants will continue to enter the mobility market to take advantage of newly emerging services and revenues, whilst some long established players will undoubtedly see revenues decline significantly, whilst others may be eliminated entirely.

Source: KPMG Mobility 2030 analysis

How can businesses future-proof strategies/models for the impending changes in the mobility ecosystem?

In response to these risks, we expect continued acquisition activity from established players to best position themselves for the future. In addition, partnerships and collaboration will become increasingly important as companies seek to pool capability and investment risk, in search of expensive, complex and innovative solutions. We expect some of these partnerships to be transitionary as we move towards an end state, whilst other may endure for many decades to come.

However, there is a smaller window of opportunity for players to secure beneficial partnership or acquisition targets; those who move too slowly risk being left behind. Within such a dynamic context, it is also important that players are able to respond and adapt their financial business and operating models in an agile manner.

What do you think will be the most unexpected change/impact from disruption to the mobility landscape?

I think that one of the most amazing things about mobility disruption is the number of second-order impacts and unintended consequences that will result from the new mobility ecosystem – some positive, others negative. Transport touches almost every part of our lives, and we are only just beginning to uncover some of the potential implications, which will impact the way we live in the future. To give just a few examples of some of the more eye-opening changes that may occur in the next 10-20 years:

  • Freedom and accessibility – affordable mobility services could unlock access and participation by parts of society previously excluded on account of the task of driving – such as children or the elderly. This could provide positive social benefits leading to greater cohesion and inclusion.
  • Reclaiming our urban landscape– if we can reduce our reliance on city parking with AV/MaaS, there is a huge opportunity to repurpose valuable land in urban areas to housing, public spaces, logistics and infrastructure of the future. This could be a huge step towards solving the UK’s housing problem, for example.
  • The infinite car – this is the amazing idea that with interchangeable batteries and EV components, the chassis of a car could last multiple decades. Refits and software updates could deliver ongoing improvements to the user experience while the frame (with reduced wear from EV motors) could be used again and again. Batteries could have their own second life as grid-level and home storage. The only limitation could be consumer preferences for car designs and makes (which themselves may radically change).

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