A growing number of experts believe that private car ownership will eventually fade away.
When I wrote about my positive experiences with the Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivan, I also wrote that I hoped the "minivan in every driveway" would soon be obsolete. After all, most cars sit idle most of the time. Wouldn't some form of sophisticated electric vehicle car-sharing/ride-sharing, combined with more walkable and livable cities, make a whole lot more sense?
Some commenters were skeptical: "Dream on your version of utopia but Americans will never give up 100% of their independence," said one particularly vehement critic.
Yet some experts believe as much as 95% of passenger miles could be electric, autonomous by 2030, thanks to some basic economics. Because electric vehicles cost a whole lot less to drive and maintain—but more to buy—and because autonomous vehicles greatly reduce the cost of commercial driving, a combination of the two technologies will make autonomous Transportation as a Service exponentially more cost competitive than either owning a car, or hiring a car and driver. It's also exponentially more profitable for car companies, who have long feared the loss of maintenance and service profits associated with a transition to electric cars.
That's a point that's discussed in detail in a recent video from Fully Charged, in which Robert Llewellyn sits down with Roger Atkins, an independent electric vehicle consultant who has his finger on the pulse of what many of the big industry players are doing. In fact, Atkins is so confident that electrification and Transportation as a Service are the future of the auto industry, he says he's willing to stake his credibility on it.
He makes a pretty convincing case in the video below:
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