What are the 6 biggest changes that will be occurring in the mobility sector before the year 2030? Self-driving taxis (aka robotaxis)? V2V technology rollout? Wide-scale adoption of plug-in electric vehicles?
A blog post and video on the EV-Box website recently explored this question and seems worth discussing here. The list is a fair bit different than mine, which makes me curious to hear what other people have to say. Personally, I’d probably say: self-driving taxis; self-driving freight truck service; zero-emissions zones in some cities; electrified ferry service; a large-scale rollout of electric vehicles; and the demise of personal diesel vehicles — in no particular order.
With regard to the EV-Box blog post, the 6 were: The Boring Company; electric planes; (jaw)dropping battery prices; exponential growth of charging points; self-driving cars; and “consumer trumps politics.”
Here are some excepts (the first 3):
#1 The Boring Company
The next and best solution to city congestion? An underground tunnel will transport cars on electric skates traveling at 200 km/h (130 miles/h). How on earth is this feasible? Ask Musk. In his recent TED Talk, Musk revealed his recipe for rescuing California from severe city congestion. “It affects people in every part of the world. It takes away so much of your life. It’s horrible. It’s particularly horrible in LA.”
#2 Electric planes
From Airbus to Larry Page. The backing of electric plane development is the real deal. The first electric planes are expected to last in the air for about 1600 km (1000 miles) by 2030. A company called Zunum Aero, backed by Boeing and JetBlue, hopes to make this a reality. Touted the “Tesla of the Air” and the “Chevy Volt for Planes”, Zunum is now building a fleet of hybrid-electric planes, focusing on improving regional flights, especially within the US.
#3 (Jaw)dropping battery costs
Battery prices are dropping by about 20% a year, and automakers no longer deny the importance of building an electric fleet. Companies like Volkswagen, Toyota, BMW, Audi, Volvo, Mercedes and many others are spending billions to speed up their development process and bring in new electric models before 2020. The future development of better battery designs is expected to help reduce the cost. Prices are expected to drop to $100/kWh before 2030, while energy density will double. Second-life batteries will be reused for clean energy storage and consumption at home. How do we know that this is serious? Well, even oil companies admit that fuel “demand will flatten out” after 2030.
I’ll confess here that I’m very skeptical of The Boring Company as anything but a niche solution to traffic congestion problems, so I’ll have to disagree with the blog post there pretty emphatically.
With regard to choice number 2, electric planes, that’s a more interesting subject — electric aircraft certainly stand to disrupt the short-haul flight market, if battery prices fall enough. But I’m not sure that any major changes in that sector will occur before 2030. I might be wrong about that, though.
Choice number 3 I can’t argue with at all, though — there are big changes coming with regard to electric vehicle battery prices well before 2030.
Check out the full blog post and/or video above for more.
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