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YESTERDAY, I SHARED some of Deloitte Development LLC’s views on the economics of tomorrow’s advanced mobility. Today in Part 2, tidbits on infrastructure are gleaned from more of its Deloitte Insights: Industry 4.0 in Automotive publication.
You Do Want Roads Too, Right? Global mobility infrastructure today depends heavily on taxing motor fuels. Deloitte cites, “In fact, the level of refueling taxes applied in Germany (46 percent), Japan (47 percent), and India (49 percent) have translated into a substantial and stable source of government revenue over several decades. Even in the U.S., a loss of the 19 percent tax applied to each gallon of gas pumped would be a considerable gap to backfill.”
What’s more, EV fuel is a commodity that doesn’t fit neatly into this picture. How should EV drivers support infrastructure? Deloitte observes, “… alternatives could take the form of user fees or other similar mechanisms, but many of these ideas are very unpopular with consumers.”
Would you want your EV’s every move monitored to separate its electric bill from your home’s?
And Where’s the Plug? “For EVs to really take off,” Deloitte writes, “consumers should be convinced that they won’t be left at the side of the road with a dead battery.”
We’ve grown so used to gas stations seemingly at every corner. But do we need them all?
“In fact,” Deloitte says, “our study results show that even though 41 percent of U.S. consumers believe full battery electric vehicles should have a range of at least 300 miles, the average vehicle owner travels just over 27 miles per day.”
Who Owns the Plug? Deloitte raises a crucial issue: “However, the biggest problem may be that no one in the automotive ecosystem seems especially eager to take responsibility for the kind of holistic charging infrastructure investments that will likely be required.”
Motorists in different countries differ in their views on this. According to Deloitte’s study, 38 percent of consumers in Japan, 36 percent in the U.S., and 34 percent India believe that EV manufacturers are obligated to provide recharging infrastructure.
By contrast, Deloitte reports, “In the Republic of Korea, only 24 percent of consumers said that the OEM should be responsible for building charging stations, and half thought it should be the government’s responsibility.”
“Moreover,” Deloitte continues, “German consumers were roughly evenly split in placing the responsibility on OEMs, government, existing fuel companies and electric utilities.”
“For their part,” Deloitte writes, “traditional fossil fuel providers are happy to maintain the status quo.”
Challenges Today, Benefits in the Future. “At the end of the day,” Deloitte concludes, “both automakers and governments should find new revenue streams to fill potential gaps left by an evolving industry. Even though some of the technologies now being developed may take years to become commercially available, considering the implications now may yield significant benefits down the road.” ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2020