With major cities planning to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2030, are the days of dirty engines in the developed world, China and India numbered? Both France and the UK announced phasing out combustion-engine cars by 2040, with the Netherlands announcing the same target by 2030. Large cities such as Mexico City and Athens vowed to phase out diesel cars by 2025. India, the world’s fifth largest auto market, is pushing electric vehicles on a grand scale.

With increasing air pollution in cities and commitment to the Paris Agreement, governments are pressed to provide better quality lifestyle for their citizens and reduce CO2 emissions. Transport as a major contributor to pollution is an obvious target. Can car-makers simply switch their production lines to battery-operated vehicles and do business as usual?

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), new registrations of electric cars hit a record in 2016, with over 750 thousand sales worldwide. So far, China and Western Europe are leading the way. In Europe, Norway has the highest market share of EV’s with 29%, followed by the Netherlands and France. In the US, California is ahead of the other states in terms of EV penetration and sales. However, the IEA also states global electric car stock currently corresponds to just 0.2% of the total number of passenger light-duty vehicles (PLDVs).

For the automotive industry, this means there is high potential for growth in the next twenty years if they can effectively switch to mass-producing electric vehicles. Governments and businesses will provide the necessary infrastructure in terms of available charging stations.

McKinsey’s Advanced Industries report ‘The road to 2020 and beyond: What’s driving the global automotive industry?’ predicts “(…)the global automotive industry is about to enter a period of wide-ranging and transformative change, as sales continue to shift and environmental regulations tighten. The lesson: companies that want to have a successful, long-term future need to get key strategic decisions right in the next decade.”

So where does Mobility as a Service (MaaS) come in for the car industry? Clearly, the aim of governments is not just to switch to electric or non-emission vehicles. It is also to take cars off the road. Methods to do this can be extra charges for drivers – for example Stockholm’s electronic road pricing or London’s congestion charge.

Other solutions are to improve alternative transport options for citizens by updating current public transport networks, implementing city-wide bikeshare systems, offering more flexible, demand-driven and demand-responsive ways to travel and connecting methods of transport by offering user-friendly, multi-modal trip chain and trip planning options.

Because of this trend in transport, the automotive industry must look to MaaS as a major challenge in the next decades and adapt their business models. Be it by providing car share networks, demand-responsive transport options or making car use, parking and seamless use of multiple transport methods easier for drivers.

SkedGo is an experienced player in the MaaS space, providing a well-run, robust multi- and mixed modal trip planning platform that includes parking, booking & payments as well as accessibility features. We have also developed a powerful Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) simulator to help businesses set up DRT systems.

Photo by Mike from Pexels

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