Welcome back to another Short Cut. TomTom’s roundup of the weeks EV, mobility, transport and mapping news. This week has been a tale of rising petrol prices, mobility industry insights, solar powered cars and ships that can captain themselves across the Atlantic Ocean. Let’s dive in.
Market research and intelligence company Euromonitor International has published three insights that any mobility company should know. It gathered the insights from a survey across 36 countries that looked at trends in “commuting patterns, spending preference, vehicle ownership and attitudes to autonomous vehicles.”
We think they’re right on the money, you can read about them in more detail over on Euromonitor’s site, the highlights are below.
The first: shared mobility is small, but a growing niche. Euromonitor says that “positioning shared mobility in the broader context of the transport network will be vital” to shared mobility’s success. Target younger commuters, position shared mobility as one of many options and work with local public transport to fill gaps in infrastructure.
The second: the EV market is growing fast but is facing challenges. We kind of already knew this, but Euromonitor confirms it. Most people surveyed say EVs are still too expensive. 42% of respondents blame poor charging infrastructure for why they’re yet to make the electric leap.
The third: consumers from emerging markets are more likely to buy a car in the coming year. 70% of those surveyed in the Middle East and Africa suggested they would buy a new or used car in 2022. Only 40% of North America and European consumers said the same.
On Monday this week, petrol prices in the UK hit new highs. The average price for petrol reached 185.44p a liter and diesel was being sold for 191.21p per liter, Yahoo! News reports. High petrol and diesel prices are further adding to a cost-of-living crisis in the country and are making people consider buying an electric vehicle.
The only downside is that the UK government announced that it is calling time on the £1,500 subsidy for buyers of electric vehicles. The scheme was closed to new car orders from Tuesday.
With the price of fuel on an upward trend, even without the subsidy, electric cars are looking like the best financial option in the UK at the moment.
The Dutch startup that spawned from Technical University Eindhoven, Lightyear One, has dropped more details about its upcoming solar powered vehicle, Electrive has the full details, but here’s the need to know.
For starters, the car is no longer going to be called Lightyear One as a production model, it will instead be called Lightyear 0.
The Lightyear 0 can go months without charging and is designed to be sleek and aerodynamic to increase efficiency. Credit: Lightyear
Production is due to start this fall, with the first models off the line to be delivered in November. The production model will have a range of 388 miles (625 km). Lightyear says it will be able to absorb 44 miles (70 km) of range per day thanks to its solar panels. All of this is on a battery pack of just 60 kWh.
Oh, and the price, yes, the price. It’s going to cost €250,000 ($262,000).
On Tuesday, BMW and Michigan-based startup Our Next Energy (ONE) announced that they’re going to work together to put a new type of battery into the German carmaker’s iX EV SUV.
The iX will use ONE’s Gemini battery which uses two types of cells, one of which has such a high energy density the whole thing is expected to be able to drive 600 miles between charges, Reuters reports.
The prototype vehicle should be complete by the end of the year. Will it mark a new era of EV range? Let’s wait and see.
As Lifewire reports, an AI-guided ship has crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Designed to make split second decisions and follow maritime law, the boat made it across the ocean in 40 days.
The ship has six AI-powered cameras and over 30 sensors which help the AI Captain interpret what’s going on out at sea and plot its course. The boat, called the Mayflower, was developed by IBM and partners.
With no crew on board, vessels can take slower, more fuel-efficient routes. This can decrease emissions and even be a benefit for when it hits the ports. Slower routes may provide more time to unload ships at ports, which means boats won’t need to queue up and idle waiting for their docking slot.
As we’ve seen on the roads, traffic and congestion unnecessarily adds to emissions. If we can keep traffic flowing, wheeled or hulled, we can reduce emissions, and slowing down is one way of doing that. Back in February, we looked closely at this with the TomTom Traffic Index.
For the full details head over to Lifewire, it’s a fascinating story.