If gas prices continue to climb, will you consider making significant changes to your driving habits? Will you consider buying a different car, or maybe even abandoning auto ownership all together?
Interesting new research from Oliver Wyman and the ESB Business School Reutlingen in Germany reveals that for many urban dwellers in Western Europe and Asia, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding “yes.”
The “Future of Mobility” found that, if fuel prices rose significantly by 2030, more than three-fourths (77 percent) of the 3,000 people polled would change their mobility behavior by:
- switching to a smaller car,
- switching to an electric car, or
- abandoning car ownership entirely and replacing it with a mixture of transport modes.
Survey respondents in Shanghai (91percent) and France (82percent) were particularly open to changing their mobility patterns. High-income respondents (71percent) were the least likely demographic segment to consider a switch.
The survey also asked respondents to predict how their behavior would change under a more aggressive “sustainability mobility” scenario. For this particular scenario, those polled were asked to imagine a 2030 with fuel costs at 4 euro/liter (the equivalent of about $20/gallon), more traffic congestion, better quality public transport and the possibility of planning multimodal trips using smartphone apps. Under this “sustainability mobility” scenario:
- Thirty percent of all survey respondents said they were willing to give up car ownership completely under this scenario. Those who would abandon car ownership included students (44percent), young adults (36percent) and urban residents (35percent).
Forward-thinking automakers need to consider results like these when planning for future initiatives. Earlier research already has shown that younger generations are not as intent on car ownership as previous generations were, and increasing fuel costs only reinforce that trend.
“Developing and manufacturing cars will remain the automakers’ core business for a long time to come, but they must become more experienced in operating vehicle fleets based on flexible-use models and, in particular, they must network their vehicles with other mobility services. ‘Ease of use’ will be decisive for market success,” Matthias Bentenrieder, a partner in Oliver Wyman’s automotive consulting practice, concluded. “Manufacturers don’t have to offer all mobility options, but in tomorrow’s multimodal world it is important that they position themselves as the key contact in the mobility chain with attractive vehicles that fit the reinvented role of the car.”
More study findings are online at www.oliverwyman.com/media/FutureMobility.pdf .