By 2030, 95% of Car Miles Will Be in Autonomous Shared Electric Vehicles | Edmunds

By 2030, 95% of Car Miles Will Be in Autonomous Shared Electric Vehicles

As a result of a continuing transportation revolution, 95 percent of U.S. car miles will be in autonomous shared electric vehicles by the year 2030, according to a new report.

U.K. research group RethinkX says in its report, titled "Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030: The Disruption of Transportation and the Collapse of the Internal-Combustion Vehicle and Oil Industries,'' that it examined current technologies and used established economic models for the study. The result is a detailed analysis of market, consumer and regulatory issues related to the future of transportation.

The researchers concluded that within 10 years of regulatory approval, 95 percent of U.S. passenger miles will be traveled in driverless electric vehicles (EVs) owned by transportation companies that provide on-demand ride services to consumers. And those cars, the report predicts, will make up 60 percent of the total vehicles in the U.S.

Ultimately, this sea change in transportation will lead to a drastic reduction in individual car ownership. The report forecasts that with fewer cars traveling more miles each year, the number of passenger vehicles on U.S. roads will drop from 247 million in 2020 to 44 million in 2030.

"We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history," said the study's co-author and RethinkX co-founder, Tony Seba, in a statement. "But there is nothing magical about it. This is driven by the economics."

According to the report's numbers, by 2021 the use of automated transportation services will be four to 10 times cheaper than buying a new car and more than twice as cheap as operating a paid-off vehicle, saving the average American household about $5,600 per year. These cost reductions will be the result of the EVs' projected lifetime of more than 500,000 miles, as well as lower operating costs and insurance premiums.

The study's authors admit that their findings are "radical" and run counter to other auto industry analyses. Most researchers predict the gradual growth of EVs, driverless cars and ride-booking services, but few other analysts foresee the rapid, radical explosion of all three of these concepts together.

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