Have You Bought Your Last Car?
By Bill Roth
I just bought a hybrid electric SUV. It is a stunning piece of technology. This five passenger, four wheel drive vehicle is rated by the EPA for 34 city, 30 highway gasoline mileage. I got over 40 MPG cruising the Pacific Coast Highway along side restored VW buses and vintage Corvettes.
But the real technology breakthrough is that this is no Prius or Ford Pinto. This SUV leaps up a highway ramp from the torque generated by its electric motors and the horsepower from the combustion engine.
This SUV is also smart! It has 360 degree radar sensors that will slow, or even stop, the vehicle if I fail to anticipate a potential collision. It’s cruise control is a marvel. It will seamlessly slow or accelerate to maintain a safe distance between vehicles.
Now here’s the shocking news being created by Silicon Valley Auto Manufacturers Row. By 2030 all of this marvelous technology will be obsolete. By 2030, Silicon Valley Auto Manufacturer Row plans to launch an autonomous electric vehicle economy that will save the average household $5,600 annually.
With those kinds of cost savings, we may all have bought our last car, truck or SUV!
Mobility As A Service
Can you imagine not owning a car? Maybe so if you live/work in Manhattan or San Francisco. But for most us, owning a vehicle is key to keeping a job and enjoying life.
The autonomous electric vehicle economy will make owning a car as technologically out of date as TV antennas or vehicle CBs (Citizen Band Radio for those of you that were not driving in the 1970’s).
The autonomous electric vehicle economy will be sold through an equally disruptive new business model called Mobility As A Service (MaaS). MaaS will be to transportation what the cloud is to software. You will not own vehicles. You will buy mobility as a service that will be cheaper, easier to use and better than owning something doomed to be outdated.
Need a pick up for weekend activities? Or a car to commute to work? MaaS will deliver both at lower cost, on time. The hassles of vehicle ownership, including repairs, maintaining vehicle licenses and insurance, are eliminated.
Four key technologies creating MaaS
These four key technologies are combining to create MaaS:
Autonomous Driving. Big data, combined with predictive software, is creating artificial intelligence that enables learning machines. Faster than any of us anticipate, this will deliver autonomous driving.
Electric Vehicles. Vehicles will be consumer electronic devices connected to the cloud. They will run on electricity because it is cheaper, it is the energy choice for electronic devices and they will outperform fossil fuel vehicles.
Renewable Energy. Recharging an electric vehicle currently costs 75 cents per gallon equivalent to gasoline. The cost scales tip massively in favor of renewable power plants after they are paid for and being producing “free” electricity. Today, renewable energy in California can account for 50% of total electricity generation. There are times where the grid operator has to charge negative prices (effectively paying generators not to operate) because of the amount of low cost renewable energy. Renewable electricity has the potential of destroying gasoline’s price competitiveness.
Batteries. Batteries costs have decline 75% over the last five years. They are project to decline a further 75% over the next ten years. While declining in cost, they are gaining in performance. Think computers and smart phones. Batteries are on a similar technology curve that will enable electric cars fueled with least cost renewable energy.
MaaS and the Green Economic Revolution
Winning on price is the mega-wave force that drives the Green Economic Revolution. By using solutions like MaaS, we cut our costs, reduce pollution and improve human health.
Cost less, mean more. Welcome to the future shock of going green!