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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on May 22nd, 2017 | by James Ayre


Report: Electric & Self-Driving Vehicle Tech Already Widely Accepted On Global Level

May 22nd, 2017 by  

Electric vehicle and self-driving vehicle tech already possesses very wide acceptance amongst consumers on the global level, based on a new survey and analysis of more than 10,000 consumers in 10 different countries undertaken by the firm Roland Berger.

To be more specific here, 46% of the consumers surveyed (around the world) said that they would forgo ownership of a car if self-driving taxis were a real option (lower cost), and 37% said that they already consider electric vehicles to be “an attractive alternative.”

The 10 countries that the “Roland Berger Automotive Disruption Radar” was focused on were: India, China, the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and the Netherlands. Altogether, those represent a significant cross-section of the total global automotive market (though Brazil probably should have been featured as well, in my opinion).

“The automotive industry faces numerous disruptive trends that it needs to manage all at once and this radical transformation will have significant consequences throughout the entire sector,” commented Marcus Berret, head of Roland Berger’s global automotive competence center. “Complete value chains will disappear, new business models will emerge — incumbent OEMs and suppliers need to face up to the changed competitive landscape. The Automotive Disruption Radar aims to help companies make investment decisions and better address the many complexities they face.”

To probably no one’s surprise, the countries with the highest population densities are those where the idea of self-driving taxis enjoys the most acceptance amongst consumers. The highest levels of acceptance were in the Netherlands (59%), Japan (56%), and Singapore (51%). Notably, though, Germany was home to a high market acceptance rate as well (47%). Elsewhere, there was less interest — with 35% in the US, 33% in India, and 27% in China.

These figures are mirrored to some degree by acceptance of ride-sharing and car-sharing services — with 84% of surveyed consumers in Singapore saying that they knew at least one person who didn’t own a car and instead relied on such services. In China, this figure was 83%. Elsewhere, it was much lower — 37% in the UK, 34% in France, 29% in Japan, and 22% in the US.

The press release provides more: “Electromobility is another area in which the Automotive Disruption Radar highlights significant regional variation. Customers from China express an overwhelmingly positive attitude toward electric vehicles. 60% are considering buying an EV as their next car. In South Korea too (54%) more than half of respondents would consider an electric car. Customers from Europe, Japan, South Korea, and the USA view the high prices as the main barrier to the purchase of such a vehicle.”

Berret concluded the summary by stating: “These developments show that the entire automotive industry is approaching the end of an era. And the new momentum in the market is driven by a change in customer expectations. So there’s a balancing act to be done here: OEMs and suppliers alike need to respond to the disruption and develop new potential. But they can’t just break away from their existing infrastructure, they need to actively work through the process of transformation. That is the biggest challenge for the market players.”

That’s a bit of a vague statement, but there’s no doubt that if some auto manufacturers don’t keep up with the rapid pace of things coming over the next decade or two in the industry, then they may well lose significant market share.



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About the Author

James Ayre'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.

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