A new report from Business Insider Intelligence examines the transformation of the automobile. Over the next five to 10 years, the integration of the car with the Internet is expected to change the car ownership model, create a new platform for consumers to access content, lead to fully autonomous vehicles, and revolutionize the auto industry. Here are some of the main projects of this report:
- Over 380 million connected cars will be on the road globally by 2021. Automakers plan to connect to the Internet the majority of the vehicles they sell.
- Automakers are connecting the vehicles they sell because the connection offers clear business opportunities.
- Consumers are adopting the connected car faster than expected.
- Hi tech companies will play a major role in the future of the automotive market. The big question is whether tech companies will eventually manufacture cars themselves (eg. Google, Apple)
- Fully autonomous cars are just years away. Technological, regulatory, and consumer adoption hurdles still remain, but there have been many strides towards a car that can drive itself from point A to point B with little to no human interaction.
A new report by Lux Research says second generation biofuels are finally starting to replace first generation biofuels. New facilities based on non-food feedstocks and producing new kinds of fuels account for over half of new capacity deployment for the first time in the biofuel industry’s history. The global biofuels industry will grow at a 2.2% annual rate to 67 billion gallons a year of capacity by 2022. First-generation biofuels, which currently hold a 91.5% market share, will continue to dominate but will lose 6% market share, as advanced biofuels see rapid growth. This period will see a rapid growth of low-carbon and high-performance drop-in biofuels such as renewable diesel. Thermochemical and catalytic technologies will surpass bioconversion processes to make up over half of the new capacity expansion for the first time in the biofuel industry’s history.
India announced the 7,000 railway stations across the country will be powered by solar energy as part of the Indian Railways mission to implement 1 gigawatt of solar power capacity. Work to set up rooftop solar power systems at 300 stations has already started, and soon this number will increase to 2,000 stations.
Electric car sales account for about 5% of all the automobiles in Norway. The country hopes to register 400,000 all-electric vehicles by 2020. Currently there are about 130,000 electric vehicles on Norway’s roads.
Automaker Volvo announced it will introduce its first all-electric cars in 2019. The company plans to deliver vehicles ranging between 100–450 kilowatts (kW) of propulsive power, with battery packs of up to 100 kilowatt-hours. The models will support AC charging up to 20 kW and high-speed DC charging.
Daimler says that as of the end of this year it is converting its Smart brand in North America to all-electric. Currently the Smart cars are the most popular all-electric car sold in the US with 8.5% of all sales in this category.
9 US states now impose fees on electric cars as a way to pay for road maintenance, while another 6 states have legislation under review. The fees are a substitute for the gasoline taxes that, because they don’t buy gas, electric-car owners don’t pay.