One of the biggest discussions that happens in the world right now is around global warming and the emissions from the vehicles that we drive around, both commercially and personally. Many of us still use combustion-based engine technologies i.e. gasoline-powered vehicles and we are all – from the gasoline industry to biofuel producers to alternative fuel advocates to environmental activists – trying to work out how best to keep everyone moving at minimum cost to the world.
On Tuesday April 12th, 2016, Nikolas Badminton, a Futurist based in Vancouver, BC, flew into Montreal to the CIPMA CFMA Conference to deliver his keynote on The Future of Fuel and Transportation.
In his presentation he looked at 4 areas:
- Changing Economies
- Supply & Demand
- Thinking ‘Smart’
- The Future
In addition, he made some bold predictions of where Canada, and certainly the rest of the Western world, would be going in 2030, and 2050.
Predictions for Fuel and Transportation for 2030
- On-demand app-driven delivery of multiples fuels will be the norm. Today we are seeing WeFuel, Booster, Filld and others starting services that allow consumers to request fill ups wherever they are parked.
- Smart service stations will be built more like community hubs – recharging, refuelling, coffeeshops, meetups etc. Todays service stations will need to change in the following ways.
- Be frictionless
- Be eco-friendly (in the way they operate)
- Offer multi-fuel refilling
- Provide holistic Service
- Have contextual forecourts that know who you are, what your driving habits are and provide an optimized experience.
- Offer flexible payments including cryptocurrencies
- Plus, offer online administration of your account along with community cultivation.
- All public transport, co-op schemes, and taxis will use electric vehicles and will have a greater level of adoption. Fully-autonomous, and electric, vehicles are being used around the world already in pilot schemes in Lausanne in Switzerland, Trikala in Greece, Zhengzhou in China, and Wageningen in The Netherlands.
- Solar power plus electric vehicles will be the desired option for personal & commercial transport. A big debate was around how do we provide cheap electricity. Wouldn’t we still need to generate it using fossil fuels (potentially). Nikolas spoke about home solar, and charging stations with solar, being able to keep up with the demand, especially with the efficiency of photovoltaic cells improving. Here is Lyndon Rive, the CEO of SolarCity talking about the challenges of creating a world powered by solar.
- 4 companies will revolutionize the industry (over and above the ever-challenging TESLA) – Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), and Apple. In fact, Nikolas speculated that Apple could revolutionize the batteries used in electric vehicles and predicts that they will launch the car being developed in the ‘Project Titan’ program by 2020 with a battery capable of 500 miles range per charge. Amazon and Microsoft will also likely partner with existing companies and pour investment into projects to revolutionize the world of transport. These 4 companies today have a collective market cap of USD$1.8 trillion.
Predictions for Fuel and Transportation for 2050
- 86% of the people in the developed world will live in cities (Source: United Nations) thus leading to decreased personal transportation usage and increased adoption of clean municipal transport, and convenience transportation like electric-based taxi/rideshare/co-op car services.
No more traditional gasoline cars will roll off of production lines. In fact Toyota just announced that they are aiming to do just this.
Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.