New Report Shows United States Could Reach Peak Car Ownership By 2020 As Auto Market Moves to Mobility Services

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The new report released by Rocky Mountain Institute, Peak Car Ownership, outlines what to expect as the United States moves away from the traditional model of car ownership to one where mobility is provided as a service.

The auto industry faces transformative times ahead, with potential for the United States market to reach peak car ownership by 2020, according to a new Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) report released today.

The report, Peak Car Ownership, outlines what to expect as the United States moves away from the traditional model of car ownership to one where mobility is provided as a service, by electric autonomous vehicles. The deployment of electric mobility services, and their gradual takeover of the market, will disrupt oil companies, carmakers and other auto industry incumbents. Findings in the report point to a 60% drop in demand for gasoline by 2035. Conversely, electric and autonomous mobility solutions stand to gain most, driving down costs, decreasing congestion, improving safety, curbing emissions and enhancing convenience.

“These findings should compel automakers to shift their business models and local governments to bring in policies to capitalize on the huge opportunities ahead,” said RMI manager and report author Jonathan Walker. “The total mobility market of the first 26 cities where automated mobility services will likely launch is worth $600 billion dollars, which makes this transition fundamental to our economy.”

The results demonstrate the rate and scope at which the disruption could occur, its impact, and implications for financial institutions, automakers, new entrants, electric utilities, governments and tech companies. The study identifies key economic tipping points and analyzes consumer adoption data and trends to estimate market sizes, growth rates and impacts for demand for personally owned vehicles, gasoline and electricity.

Key findings of the report include:

1.    By 2018, solely using autonomous taxis for transportation could cost the same as owning and operating a car.
2.    Electric vehicles make strong economic sense for providing automated mobility services.
3.    Total Revenue for early-to-market automated mobility providers could be more than $100 billion by 2024.
4.    Automated mobility services could capture two-thirds of the entire U.S. mobility market in 15 to 20 years.
5.    Oil companies will lose revenue, utilities will gain and carmakers will be split.

Personally owned, gas-powered vehicles have dominated the U.S. mobility system for 100 years, but recent societal and technological trends are giving way to a reformed mobility system where most mobility needs will be met by mobility services, enabled by driverless automated technology and powered by electric powertrains.

“This report is a clear signal to automakers that the business-as-usual model is no longer an option,” says Jeruld Weiland, managing director of RMI’s Mobility Transformation program, who has 30 years of experience at General Motors.

The executive summary and full report can be downloaded here: http://www.rmi.org/peak_car_ownership

About Rocky Mountain Institute
About Rocky Mountain Institute Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. In 2014, RMI merged with Carbon War Room (CWR), whose business-led market interventions advance a low-carbon economy. The combined organization has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing

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Mark Grundy
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