The shift to electric and autonomous vehicles in Australia could deliver a nearly $100 billion boost to Australia’s economy, a new report has found, as innovative technologies and mobility options like “robo-taxis” drive productivity, and slash the costs of pollution and road accidents.
The analysis, by L.E.K. Consulting, based modelling from Cadence Economics, finds that uptake of EVs could see the internal combustion engine fall to as little as 17 per cent of Australia’s car market by 2050, compared with 99 per cent in 2017.
In their place, cars powered by electricity, driverless cars and personalised transport accessed via smartphone apps would become the norm.
These sort of numbers gel with other forecasts of EV uptake in Australia, including the federal government-backed report from last year that saw EVs accounting for massive 90 per cent of all cars and commercial light vehicles by 2050.
That report – commissioned by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and ARENA, and based on modelling by independent research group Energeia – forecasts this major transport sector disruption starting as early as 2021.
But the eye-catching takeaway from the L.E.K. report is that even such a “dramatic shift” to EVs and personalised transport could be a big win for the economy, delivering an estimated $A62-$A92 billion boost to gross domestic product (GDP).
The report expects about half of this increase in GDP – between $32-44 billion – to come from improved work-force participation, simply by making it easier and quicker for people to get to work.
The report notes that new technologies and business models such as car sharing and ride sharing/pooling are already changing the way Australians travel and use traditional transport modes such as taxis and private cars.