The FT Future of Mobility’s latest summit is focusing on the future of transport – but it’s not just about changing how we travel, it’s set to change how we live our lives. At this knowledge-sharing event with over 200 senior global professionals, our head of mobility and partner at Shoosmiths, Robin Webb is looking forward to finding out the latest thinking on mobility’s hot topics.
Time is running out
Robin says: “By 2030, about 70% of new car sales will be electric vehicles according to market research provider, ReportsnReports. This, however, is only 10 years away. While consumer demand will largely dictate the pace of change, there remain some serious concerns as to whether the infrastructure changes required to allow the move away from the internal combustion engine will be delivered? We will need to see a quantum shift in the availability and accessibility of charging points, remembering of course that most people do not have the luxury of a driveway at home with their own personal changing point.
“Electric vehicles (EVs) will also place a huge demand on the National Grid, especially with the peaks associated with overnight charging. We already have power surges that place a strain on the system, for example when millions of us fire up the kettle during an advert break, when Coronation Street airs an exciting storyline or during a major football match.
“Range anxiety – fear of your electric vehicle not having the capability to cover the mileage range you want – is likely to become a thing of the (near) past as the latest models, such as the latest generation Tesla, offer journeys in excess of 300 miles on a single charge. The progress that is being made in this area suggests that range concerns will not stifle the adoption of EVs in the medium term. Ahead of EVs being used widely however, all of these issues will need to be addressed.”
The car as a computer on wheels
Robin continues: “By 2025, fifteen of the world’s automotive manufacturers plan to release Level 4 autonomous ready vehicles - these vehicles will be able to operate by themselves without human intervention for long periods of time in certain conditions. This is not in the distant future – this is just around the corner. The car is increasingly becoming a computer on wheels, as automotive manufacturers move more towards being technology businesses rather than traditional engineering businesses.”
Robin concludes: “We’re shifting away from the concept of car ownership towards people seeing mobility more as a service. People will be increasingly able to access vehicles on a subscription basis - using vehicles flexibly for different needs such as a small compact car during the week for mainly work journeys and then a large vehicle for leisure time at the weekend – or the aggregation of various modes of transport for one fee during a set period, ranging from a car to a bicycle to a train.
“We’re seeing an evolution from a previous era, when different brands of vehicles were seen as status symbols to a new era where vehicle ownership is declining – the DVLA are seeing fewer people take driving tests - reflecting a change in values where younger people often view transport as a means to an end to get from point A to point B. These generations often want to use transport in a way that resonates with a more environmentally conscious set of values and are well used to online subscription models and apps, such as music streaming services. The way in which people are now viewing mobility, especially through the use of apps, is transforming the mobility sector.”
FT’s Future of Mobility Summit takes place in London on 26 November. Our head of mobility sector, Robin Webb will be there. Find out more here.