No one can predict the future, but experts with the right background and experience can provide insight into how the coming years are likely to unfold. When it comes to the auto industry, there hasn’t been a more exciting era since the days of Henry Ford. The years to 2030 will transform both the auto industry and the vehicles it produces. GOBankingRates spoke to the experts to find out what to expect along the way.
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Automation will continue to idle
The auto industry has invested $ 16 billion in automation research, according to Car and Driver – but beyond a few prototypes and novelties, there hasn’t been much to show on a practical level in the general public. Everything indicates that autonomous driving technology will eventually usher in a new era of safety and convenience that will make the old axiom of 10-and-two hands a relic of the horse and buggy era.
But “ultimately” is the key word. Expect the future to come in a trickle, not a flood.
“The auto industry over the next decade is likely to experience evolutionary change rather than the revolutionary change that was predicted before COVID,” said Kevin roberts, an industry analyst with CarGurus. “Although Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric (CASE) will still be the hubs of innovation going forward, there is debate as to whether the four should always remain capitalized. ”
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The biggest barrier to automation – a technology that could save tens of thousands of lives each year – is cost, according to the Harvard Business Review. Without a government-funded consumer subsidy program similar to the federal electric vehicle tax credit, autonomous driving technology will be out of reach for the common driver. But with car crashes costing US $ 18 billion a year, HBR argues that these subsidies could be written off if the government was willing to commit.
Connectivity, however, turns out to be as big a barrier as the cost.
“A slower than expected rollout of 5G impacted the ability to fully connect vehicles to everything (V2X),” said Roberts. “Thus, creating truly autonomous vehicles has proven more difficult, and combined with consumer reluctance to post-COVID shared mobility, the business case for autonomous robot taxi fleets is murky. . “
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The virus couldn’t stop – or even slow down – the electric vehicle revolution
Unlike automation, the race for a fully electric future that began before the pandemic is in full swing.
“Electricity appears to have emerged from COVID with no impact,” Roberts said. “And combined with a move towards cleaner cities and falling battery prices, it looks to be a major player in the years to come.”
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Today, electric vehicles are still much more expensive than their gas-guzzling counterparts. But when that changes – and it should be in a few years – it will likely tip the scales and cause the barrier to break down for electric cars, which will only truly flood the market then.
“Electric vehicles have so far come at a significant cost over traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles,” said Roberts. “However, that should change by the middle of this decade. Once cost parity is achieved between electric vehicles and ICE vehicles, the advantages of electric vehicles will start to shine: lower maintenance costs, improved performance and environmental friendliness. “
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Industries that maintain and dispose of electric vehicles will soar
Over the next decade, the auto service industry will be forced to change or die.
“From the point of view of the commercial vehicle industry, a major concern for after-sales service and maintenance is whether fleet technicians can service heavy-duty electric trucks,” said Brian Rieger, vice president of OEM and aftermarket truck sales in North America at ConMet. “Slowly but surely you will see that technicians need to have advanced skills in computer software and electrical engineering. It will be difficult to find specialized fleet technicians, as the industry is already experiencing a shortage in these essential positions. “
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This decade will also see the first of the production electric vehicles of the previous decade die of old age.
“The uncertainty about the full lifecycle of electric vehicles may hold them back,” said Roberts. “How long the batteries will last, reduced performance in cold environments and what to do with used batteries will all become key questions. ”
But as EVs push gasoline cars towards extinction, you can expect the law of supply and demand to turn some ICE vehicles into collectibles.
“The rise of electric vehicles is fueling huge value gains for used and older cars,” said Christopher Davenport, President and CEO of AutoParts4Less.com, an automotive e-commerce platform.
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Cryptocurrency Could Transform Automatic Funding – And Electric Vehicles Could Transform Crypto
The rise of electric vehicles coincided with the rise of cryptocurrency in the 2010s. The two are already starting to intertwine, and some industry insiders expect both technologies to end up starting. to define each other.
“With cryptocurrency and decentralized financing becoming more widely accepted today and opening up as a whole, this will create many different lending options over the next decade for the auto industry using this technology,” he said. declared Scott Heninger, Founder and CEO of Carnomaly. “Over the next decade, we can be sure to see the increase in the use of cryptocurrency in the auto finance industry, not only to simply use this new currency to pay for vehicles, but also to open up lending options for everyone to democratize. the credit industry itself. This will allow consumers to avoid having to deal with large financial institutions, which offer little flexibility. “
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It’s also possible that the most innovative entrepreneurs will find a way to harness the energy needed to power cars and reuse it to mine crypto.
“One potential option will be to use existing technology like Tesla vehicles to your advantage,” Heninger said. “We know that Tesla have massive computing capabilities in their vehicles due to their autonomous driving, battery and charging capabilities. Over the next decade, we could see this already built technology and infrastructure being used to mine Bitcoin while the car is charging, making you money at the same time. Tesla could even create its own blockchain and token that could be used as currency and used to verify transactions. This could then be used to offer discounts on the cost of the charge to those who do mining. These discounts could be used to get a lower rate on “gasoline” or be applied to the loan on the vehicle. “
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Last updated: July 22, 2021
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: What the auto industry will look like in 2030