Simple answer – yes – if they aren’t already. Welsh businesses should be aware that there is significant pressure on local and national government to do something about air quality. Add to this the slow but inevitable rise in costs of oil and the rapidly reducing costs of electric and you have a business dilemma – when to jump from the sinking fossil fuel ship onto…. what? Hydrogen powered? All electric? Some sort of hybrid?
It’s tricky which is why we are gathering people for a conversation on Car Futures Wales on the 15th February at 17.00 in the Arup Offices Cardiff Bay. BBC Broadcaster Mark Goodier was one of the first people in the UK to drive an electric car and is a keen advocate of the technology. He will be in conversation with Tim Armitage, Arup’s project director of Autodrive, the UK’s first on-road trial of connected and autonomous vehicles.
Mark works with Drive Electric who are the leading provider of electric lease vehicles. Some experts argue that car ownership, as well as they technology that powers them, is set to change in a big way. The pricing mechanisms that may arise in response to congested roads and poor air quality might mean that owning a depreciating lump of metal just doesn’t make sense any more. The car, like the home video, will be claimed by the “service not product” business model.
Tim Armitage will argue that an additional factor in bringing about change will be the advent of driverless technology. Here the service even includes the act of driving. You want to get from A to B in a fast comfortable (and relatively safe) way right? Well do you need to drive then if AI on wheels can do it for you?
Of course there will be some people who just love that physical connection between, senses-mind-hands-road and for them there will always be models available with steering wheels and accelerator pedals. They may even give you a fake Maserati roar.
But for a serious business person looking at margins, predicting trends and future markets, then the reality of ultra-low emission and autonomous vehicles has to be faced.
Join Cynnal Cymru and the experts in conversation on the 15th Feb at Car Futures Wales.