Our trans­porta­tion fu­ture

The elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of the au­to­mo­bile is upon us

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - Blake Doyle Blake Doyle is The Guardian’s small busi­ness colum­nist. He can be reached at blake@is­landrecruit­ing.com.

The elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of au­to­mo­tion is upon us. With re­cently con­stant en­thu­si­asts, pres­sure on Tesla stock ($TSLA) and af­fir­ma­tion of early adopter auto man­u­fac­tures like Chevro­let or Volvo’s stated com­mit­ment of ev­ery ve­hi­cle pro­duced af­ter 2019 be­ing elec­tric or hy­brid, man­u­fac­tures from Volk­swa­gen to Ford to Nis­san to Toy­ota are fol­low­ing suit.

Much as the steam en­gine pro­pelled eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and com­merce in the late 1700’s and 1800’s, af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble elec­tri­cal charg­ing will rev­o­lu­tion­ize travel and equally dis­rupt tra­di­tional economies by elim­i­nat­ing range anx­i­ety.

Over the course of the last sev­eral months plans, have for­mal­ized and been made pub­lic by lo­cal util­i­ties and gov­ern­ments. Util­i­ties in New Brunswick and Nova Sco­tia are mak­ing in­vest­ments in fast charg­ing sta­tions. This aug­ments ear­lier com­mit­ments of Sun Coun­try. On P.E.I., Summerside has made an early com­mit­ment to charg­ing sta­tions, but provin­cially there re­mains a lack of mean­ing­ful in­cen­tives for driv­ers to fully con­vert ve­hi­cle pur­chases.

What can we an­tic­i­pate for the fu­ture? It will be elec­tri­fy­ing. The pace and im­pact of change will be pro­found and rapid.

Within five years all com­pet­i­tive ve­hi­cle OEM’s will be com­pelled to of­fer a va­ri­ety of elec­tric ve­hi­cles. If you con­sider the ex­po­nen­tial growth fore­casts, P.E.I. could see as many as 10 per cent of ve­hi­cles be­ing elec­tri­fied.

Ride shar­ing and au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles will have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on trans­porta­tion. With an ever chal­lenged labour pool of long haul truck­ers, this fleet of skill will be re­placed by le­gions of driver­less trucks. Con­sid­er­ing the ne­ces­sity of truck­ing trans­port to P.E.I. this will be pro­found.

The im­pact to skilled trades of me­chan­ics, gaso­line distri­bu­tion sta­tions, au­to­mo­tive deal­ers will all by culled by op­er­a­tions match­ing de­clin­ing de­mand. Elec­tric ve­hi­cles, like iPods, there are no mov­ing parts thus auto re­tail­ing’s high yield ser­vice rev­enue and me­chanic trades will be ‘nat­u­rally se­lected’ from the mar­ket.

Within five-years com­mu­ni­ties and pro­gres­sive busi­nesses will have adopted cleaner tech­nolo­gies mo­ti­vated by puni­tive car­bon tax­a­tion and yield­ing to in­creas­ing so­cial and con­stituent pres­sures. Where stal­wart in­dus­tries de­cline rapidly, new in­dus­tries will as­cend rapidly mark­ing an eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tive event.

Roads will be­come vir­tu­ally ac­ci­dent free as au­tos safety fea­tures and driver­less func­tions ma­ture. Te­dium chores like shop­ping for gro­ceries be­come missed by nos­tal­gic shop­pers as goods are se­lected on­line or au­to­mat­i­cally re­plen­ished and de­liv­ered by drone, robots and au­ton­o­mous de­liv­ery ser­vice in larger mar­kets.

In­creas­ingly peo­ple are har­ness­ing their own elec­tric­ity needs di­rectly from the en­vi­ron­ment. With this in­creas­ing ca­pac­ity come an in­crease in cre­ativ­ity.

The adop­tion of long awaited elec­tric ve­hi­cles is now upon us and 2018 – 2023 will see a tran­si­tion to early adop­tion, which will be fol­lowed by main­stream ac­cep­tance. Thus, many busi­ness mod­els must also adapt, and quickly

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