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A disruption happens when a new technology makes it possible for companies to do two things: create new products that open up new markets and transform or destroy existing ones at the same time. And this is happening right now. As transportation goes electric, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the combustion engine and the birth of AEVs—electric and autonomous vehicles. It’s a good disruption.

“No technology in history, ever, no technology has ever been adopted in a linear way. It happens as s-curves, and once you reach that tipping point, essentially it’s over. It’s going to grow exponentially and it’s happened every single time in history,” said Tony Seba during an interview at the rEvolution 2018 event. Tony Seba is the author of Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation.

In this video, Tony Seba shows how the convergence of technology, computing power, economics and market demand creates a force which inevitably causes giant disruptions in our lives.

Transportation is going Electric and Autonomous – AEVs

In the early 1900s, “It took ten years for the car market share to go from 11% to 81%. And in 20 years, it reached 95%. This was made possible by building a brand new automobile industry, building a new road infrastructure, training a new generation of workers with brand new skills, inventing new industrial processes and new business models. And fighting World War I at the same time,” says Seba in the following video. He predicts that the switch to electric and autonomous transportation will be even faster.

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Tony Seba, RethinkX presentation in 2018

The following consists of excerpts (in no particular order) from the video:

The Facts Are Out There

  • Technology convergence enables disruptions – data storage, processing speed, network capacity.
  • Disruptions usually happen from the outside. Neither Google or Apple had ever built a phone before.
  • Successful technologies are adopted as  s-curves. When the tipping point is reached, the market change occurs rapidly.
  • S-curves are getting even more exponential. Accelerating!
  • Mainstream forecasters continue to use linear projecting despite evidence to the contrary.
  • Business model innovation is as disruptive as technology innovation.
  • EVs are 10X cheaper to charge/fuel.
  • ICE (internal combustion engine) cars have 2000+ moving parts.
  • EVs have 20 moving parts and therefore are much cheaper to maintain.
  • EVs have a lifetime 2.5X > than ICEs.
  • EVs can help power our homes by connecting to the grid.
  • 50 companies are now investing tens of billions every year in autonomous technologies.
  • China has 300 EV companies.

A Disruption in Plain Site

  • 10% of Americans are not replacing their cars, opting instead for car-sharing, Uber, Lyft.
  • By 2025, every new vehicle produced will be electric.
  • TaaS (transportation as a service) will become prevalent – AEVs (autonomous electric vehicles) owned by fleets, not individuals.
  • The cost per mile for transportation will go down by 10X.
  • By 2030, 95% of all passenger miles will be TaaS-AEV – electric, autonomous and on demand.
  • Traffic accidents will go down.
  • Parking in downtown centres will become largely obsolete.
  • Cities will be redesigned.
  • Global oil demand will peak in early 2020s and the price of oil will plummet.
  • Up to 70% of deepwater oil, shale oil and oilands will be uncommercial and will become stranded assets.

This is not an Energy transition. This is a Technology disruption. ~ Tony Seba

Related articles:

Batteries Are Driving The Clean Energy Transition
Where We Are In The Clean Energy Revolution

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.Creative Commons License

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  1. All well and good. But I did not see a single mention of how going autonomous and electric will address the traffic congestion nightmare many cities deal with. And roadway traffic seems only to be getting more heavy. Though, to be fair, some proclaim that the fleeting (caravanning) of vehicles with reduced headways will help address the roadway-congestion issue. Any thoughts?

    • Alan – I think that the efficient use of autonomous vehicles, used on demand, will relieve congestion. People will learn to schedule their use of vehicular transportation more effectively, only as needed. There will be little need for parking facilities and massive parking lots that use urban space needlessly. Autonomous vehicles will never be parked, unlike our vehicles which are now parked most of the time.

      Thank you for your feedback/comments.

  2. Awesome article Rolly. A bright spot, the autonamous EVs, although speaking of S curves, we are now in the first curve for climate change itself, according to at least three science sources I trust. Onward …

    • Les – just saw your comment now. It’s hard to keep up.

      Thank you as always for the ongoing support.


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