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Published on January 31st, 2017 | by James Ayre

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62% Of Auto Execs Think EVs Will Fail Due To Infrastructure Challenges, KPMG Survey Finds

January 31st, 2017 by  

A recent survey of 1,000 of the top automotive industry execs around the world taken as part of the 2017 KPMG Global Automotive Executive Study has revealed a number of very interesting new data points.

One of which is the fact that 76% of those surveyed apparently agree that one connected car generates more revenue streams than 10 conventional cars. In addition, 71% apparently think that this (among other factors) means that basing manufacturer market share on units sold is an outdated way of doing things.

The KPMG Automotive Sector Leader, Gary Silberg, commented: “The game has changed for automakers, as cars have evolved into rolling computers and consumers have been quick to embrace autonomy, connectivity and mobility-on-demand. A car is no longer defined by its utility, it is defined by the experience it provides to the driver and passenger — and that opens a tremendous pipeline for new revenue streams and business services that KPMG projects could top $1 trillion in the next decade or so.”

That’s quite fascinating, but the most interesting finding for CleanTechnica likely concerns electric vehicles. In general, these auto industry executives seem to be underestimating the disruptive potential of electric transport. “76% of the executives see ICEs (internal combustion engine vehicles) as still more important than electric drivetrains for a very long time,” Green Car Congress reports.

Even further, “62% either absolutely agree (22%) or partly agree (40%) that battery-electric vehicles will fail due to infrastructure challenges. 78% either absolutely (33%) or partly (45%) agree that fuel cell electric vehicles will be the real breakthrough for electric mobility.”

In other words, they don’t seem to believe that the convenience of home and workplace charging plus occasional charging away from home or work will be more attractive to consumers than having to fuel up at a gas station or hydrogen fueling station on a regular basis.

Here’s an overview of some of the other survey findings (via Green Car Congress):

  • “53% of the executives, whether absolutely (19%) or partly (34%), agree that diesel is dead — or at least socially unacceptable — for light-duty powertrains.”
  • “80% of executives in the KPMG study agree that data will be the fuel for future business models, and 83% believe they will make money off of that data.”
  • “Over the next 5 years, 53% of executives are planning to invest highly in plug-in hybrids and 52% in ICEs and full hybrids. However, looking at all powertrain solutions, there is only a 5% difference in distribution for high investment.”
  • “83% of executives think it is extremely or somewhat likely that there will be a major business model disruption in the automotive industry.”
  • “59% of executives absolutely or partly agree that half of today’s car owners will no longer want to own a car in 2025.”
  • “BMW is still seen as electric mobility leader, but Tesla has made a big leap forward, moving up to second place, outpacing last year’s #3 Toyota and challenging BMW’s first place with only a 2% difference.”
  • “27% see BMW here as unrivaled leader in autonomous driving followed by Tesla with 9% and Honda with 9%.”

That last one is downright confusing to me. How is BMW the unrivaled leader in autonomous driving? Were there more BMW and BMW-dependent execs surveyed than any others? For that matter, how was BMW higher than Tesla in electric mobility? Which company has ~400,000 reservations for its next EV and a battery “gigafactory” under construction?

It appears that choices for autonomous driving were all over the place, with the top choice only nabbing 27% — perhaps everyone simply chose the company they work the most with or are employed by?


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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



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