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  • Stephen Sacks

To Infinity & Beyond!


The move towards electric vehicles is well documented. There will be enough electric cars on the road for roughly every person in Japan — the world's 11th most populous country — in just more than two decades, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Electric vehicle (EV) ownership will balloon to about 125 million by 2030, spurred by policies that encourage drivers, fleets and municipalities to purchase clean-running cars, the policy advisor to energy-consuming nations forecast on Wednesday.

That marks a big jump from 2017, when the IEA estimated there were 3.1 million electric vehicles in use, up 54 percent from the previous year.

IEA's outlook still leaves plenty of room for fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Forecasts put the world's total car count at roughly 2 billion somewhere in the 2035 to 2040 window.

However, the IEA also sees a pathway to 220 million electric vehicles by 2030, provided the world takes a more aggressive approach to fighting climate change and cutting emissions than currently planned.

Policies in place today will make China and Europe the biggest adopters, in the IEA's view. In China, credits and subsidies will help EVs grow to account for more than a quarter of the car market by 2030. Meanwhile, tightening emissions standards and high fuel taxes in Europe will boost the vehicles to 23 percent of the market.

China is already becoming a behemoth in the space. New electric car sales surged by 72 percent, or 580,000 units, in 2017, pushing total ownership over 1 million vehicles. The country is also driving growth in electric buses and two-wheeled vehicles, accounting for about 99 percent of the world's stock of the fast-growing categories.

Still, Germany and Japan posted the biggest electric vehicle growth in 2017, with electric vehicle sales more than doubling from 2016.

Governments across the world it seems, will stop at nothing to promote clean transport. In the UK electric vehicles are free from road tax, congestion charges and enjoy dirt cheap BiK’s and parking. Use of priority lanes like bus lanes is also being considered. There are however two very, very large elephants in the room:

  1. Most electricity is still generated by fossil fuels so increased demand for electricity often just moves the point of pollution from the cars exhaust to the power stations chimney.

  2. Road traffic speeds in major cities are now slower than they were at any time in living memory, in fact traffic in central London has slowed to an average speed of little more than 5 miles an hour, according to reports. Speeds have come down in nine of ten cities in a major study – only Bradford showed an increase. Experts blame the slowdown on increased traffic, more cycle and bus lanes and expanded pedestrian zones. The measures are part of an attempt by councils to cut air pollution and discourage driving. London was the slowest city with vehicles within one mile of the centre moving at an average speed of 5.13mph this year compared with 6.35mph in the same three-month period last year.

So, with all of the billions invested into R&D over the last century since Henry Ford first introduced the Model T we have managed to achieve average speeds of 5mph and moved emissions from cars to power stations.

So, what’s the answer?

Remember the Jetsons?

This was Hanna-Barberas space age counterpart to The Flintstones from 1962-63. Whereas Fred Flintstone ran a zero emission vehicle powered by himself, the much more urbane George Jetson commuted in a flying car. A flying car?????

Who’d have thought but Funding Nav’s most recent client is VRCO the makers of the NeoXcraft flying car.

They are in a race to commercialise the technology that will make taking off vertically from your driveway and then proceeding at 150mph in a souped up drone a reality. Actually I am doing this craft a disservice by calling it that. Its more like a top end sports car that speeds its driver and passenger to their destination above the traffic and direct with silent electric power.

Like all leading edge tech businesses VRCO must find solutions to new problems in order to succeed and these create value in themselves.

The internet has totally changed the way that we communicate, shop and work over the last twenty years. I think that flying cars may well have the same impact on our travel over the next twenty.

VRCO are keen to build a data base of interest from people who like me are fascinated with this prospect because they need to influence investors, legislators and ultimately customers. We have some great VR and if you are ever in Derby the factory is worth a visit.

So, drop me a line and let me know what you think to stephen.sacks@fundingnav.com

#fundingnav #future #travel

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