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Published on January 31st, 2017 | by Steve Hanley

KPMG Auto Industry Survey Sheds Light On EV Attitudes

January 31st, 2017 by  
 

KPMG surveyed nearly 1,000 auto industry executives and 2,400 vehicle owners to learn what they think about the future of the automobile. Their findings may surprise some and disturb others. Perhaps the most unexpected finding is that 62% agree battery electric vehicles will fail due to infrastructure challenges. Fully 78% agree that fuel cell electric vehicles will be the real breakthrough for electric mobility.

autonomous car auto industry survey

That’s certainly a shocker for those of us here in the Gas2 community, where most believe electric cars are poised to become competitive with conventional cars within the next 5 years or so. We have long felt that industry executives — like Ford’s Mark Fields — simply don’t “get it,” when it comes to electric cars. A comment posted by a reader at Green Car Congress sums up the prevailing attitude of electric car advocates nicely.

“I read this study not as an indication of the trends, but insight into the mentality, and blind spots, of auto executives.The view that hydrogen refueling infrastructure will prevail over electric charging infrastructure seems especially detached from all available facts, and ignorant of the successful players.” Amen to that.

Here are some of the other significant findings of the KPMG 2017 survey:

  • 53% say that diesel is dead for use in light duty vehicles.
  • 76% say the internal combustion engine will continue to play a major role in passenger cars for the foreseeable future.
  • 27% believe BMW is the current leader in autonomous driving technology versus 9% for Tesla.
  • 59% agree half of consumers will not want to own their own vehicle by 2025.
  • 76% believe on connected car will generate as much or more revenue for the manufacturer as 10 conventional cars.

That last point is critical. “The game has changed for automakers, as cars have evolved into rolling computers and consumers have been quick to embrace autonomy, connectivity and mobility-on-demand. A car is no longer defined by its utility, it is defined by the experience it provides to the driver and passenger — and that opens a tremendous pipeline for new revenue streams and business services that KPMG projects could top $1 trillion in the next decade or so.” That’s according to Gary Silberg, head of automotive research for KPMG.

Think of it as the Amazon experience applied to automobiles. Data collection is more valuable than profits from actual sales. 80% of executives agree that data will be the fuel for future business models. 83% believe they will make money as a result of collecting such data. That means every manufacturer needs its own ecosystem/operating system (OS) in order to keep from having that revenue stream diluted by sharing it with third parties. That may be why Apple and other tech companies are finding it hard to find companies that want to use their dedicated electronic systems. The companies want to keep all that lovely money all to themselves.

Here’s another interesting tidbit. 83% of executives think it is likely there will be a major business model disruption in the automotive industry in the near future. Does that mean more direct to customer sales, which Tesla is advocating? Possibly. The survey did not ask the obvious follow up question.

The entire survey results make interesting reading. One thing that we as consumers can learn from them is that auto industry executives seem to be blissfully unaware that most EV charging takes place at home overnight. Yes, there are challenges for people who live in condos and apartment buildings, but to suggest they are so insurmountable that hydrogen powered cars will be more in demand seems foolish if not downright silly.

If we thought car companies were out of touch with reality before, now we know the truth. They are. Thanks, KPMG.

Source: CleanTechnica





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About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.



  • airchompers

    What I don’t get is why so many people think fuel cells aren’t going to be at least as important as batteries (barring some amazing battery technology breakthrough).

    Battery electric vehicles work great for some people, but they’re much less favorable for people who don’t have a consistent parking spot near electricity, people who don’t know how much driving they’ll have to do on a regular basis, people who are offput by range anxiety, and people who are worried about the durability / cost of batteries.

    Hydrogen fuel cells aren’t perfect, but they work better in some cases than batteries and they use some materials less intensively (like cobalt). And they share the advantage of 0 tailpipe emissions – something that’s critical for dense places.

    And hydrogen stations are expensive, but in population dense places that’s a negligible cost / amortized easily. Cities and island nations don’t need thousands of fill up stations, they need hundreds.

    • Epicurus

      Who is going to pay for hydrogen fueling facilities? Gas station owners already operate on thin margins. You think they will gamble a lot of money on installing hydrogen fueling? It costs very little comparatively to add fast chargers, and the station owners can sell you food and beverages while you wait.

      Secondly, who wants to drive to a fueling station and pay a lot of money to fill up on hydrogen when one can refuel in one’s own garage for the equivalent of about $1/gallon?

      • Steve Hanley

        Unless you fill a balloon with it! ; – )

        • roseland67

          Nice

        • Jim Smith

          and watch it explode?

          • bioburner

            Could happen. Oh the “Humanity” if it happened inside someone’s garage. I’m just waiting for that to happen.

          • Burnerjack

            Oh, the humanity!

        • Epicurus

          Good one.

      • airchompers

        I want to drive to a fueling station and fill up.

        I don’t have a garage, I don’t have outlets at work, and I don’t have outlets in my apartment building. I can’t be alone in thinking that hydrogen cars work better for my situation than battery electric cars. And I don’t see that changing, my work is pretty cheap, my landlord is even cheaper, and houses with garages are too expensive for my tastes.

        • Epicurus

          I can understand that, but what’s wrong with fast recharging at the gas station for much less than you would pay for the equivalent amount of hydrogen?

          As I suggested above, it will be much easier and cheaper to build out a recharging infrastructure than to build out a hydrogen refueling instructure. Who’s going to sink a fortune into hydrogen stations?

          I think we will see condos, apartment complexes, businesses, and cities installing rechargers, perhaps with help from local and state governments.

        • bioburner

          For people in your situation , and there are MANY. There are options. E85–if you can get it. The EV industry is moving to super fast charging which will accommodate people in your situation. Recharge you battery in 5 minutes work for you?Hydrogen is a possibility, especially in very cold climates. The high cost to build out refueling stations for hydrogen is going to be an significant obstacle.

          • airchompers

            E85 is a scam, ethanol is a scam. If someone ever returned fire and water boarded Bush 43, I’d add ‘put ethanol in the gas that messed up my bike’s carburetors’ to the indictment.

        • Mike J

          airchompers: you talk about “cheap”, yet fueling an EV is one-half to one-third cheaper to fuel than the average ICE vehicle per mile driven. And EVs are cheaper to maintain and service. Furthermore, If you want to talk about cost, check out the cost of a new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle or the cost of installing a hydrogen fueling station. I think you’ll find hydrogen cars may not work in your situation as well as you might think.

          • airchompers

            I don’t disagree that fueling an EV is cheap, but in my situation getting an EV to fuel is expensive – it means buying a house, getting a luxury apartment, or moving jobs.

            I don’t think EVs are much cheaper to maintain and service than hydrogen cars, not the least of which is because the undisputed king of reliability makes a hydrogen car but not an EV. I’ve read enough Tesla horror stories (misaligned doors, leaky windows) to feel confident in saying that a 2005 Lexus LS should be more reliable than a 2013 Model S.

            And I’d love to lease a Mirai, yeah they’re not ‘cheap’ but they’re the cheapest handmade toyota in living memory. The only other hand made toyotas in the past 20 years have been the LFA (380k?) and the Toyota Century (120k, not sold in America).

          • fred smith the deplorable

            That is because you are ignoring the $0.02/mile that the ICE vehicle is paying in road taxes. And the $7500 ICE drivers are paying EV drivers to buy their car. And you are ignoring the value loss (depreciation) that the EV has in comparison to ICE equivalents. TCO for an EV is higher than an equivalent EV, even after all the subsidies.

          • Mike J

            I’m not ignoring the gas tax or tax incentives for EV purchases, it’s just isn’t relevant to the discussion of comparing ownership costs. Although I do agree the gas tax is an outdated and ineffective way to maintain roads. The deficits in the road and highway funds is because of improvements in fuel efficiency, not due to EV owners not contributing. But the main point is EVs have a lower ownership cost than ICE vehicles, even without factoring federal tax credits. This is supported by a number of peer-reviewed studies. If you insist upon including tax credits, gas taxes, and other dissimilar factors, I could insist externalities be included such as costs associated with health and medical, environmental impacts associated with air pollution, oil spills, and climate change associated with ICE vehicles and oil extraction, refining, and transportation.

    • Kevin

      Sorry to inform you, but Hydrogen cars are battery electric vehicles. The FC can not generate enough power to quickly (or even nominally) accelerate the vehicle to speed, so they rely on batteries to get them to speed, then take over during cruse. To your point about a consistent close spot to refueling, this is more so for hydrogen (and new stations are extremely costly to build vs. an electric charge point).
      …and Electric vehicle also have 0 tailpipe emissions (HFC vehicles generate water).

      • airchompers

        In the same way that hybrids are battery electric. The FCX clarity has what – a 3.6 kwh battery? that’s much less cobalt intensive than every car having 60-100 kwh batteries.

        • dogphlap dogphlap

          Why the concern about cobalt ? It is not a rare element and today is mainly used as a pigment for paint and glass (Cobalt Blue) or alloyed with steel. It is not practical to recover cobalt from those two main uses but everything inside a Li-ion cell is recyclable, it does not matter how old and worn out a Li-ion cell is the contents can be removed, cleaned up a bit and re-used. What’s not to like ?

      • Jim Smith

        not to mention, one needs to frack natural gas to get hydrogen.

        • airchompers

          For the same reasons that one needs to burn coal to make electricity.

          • Jim Smith

            coal is heading down for electricity generation as it is uneconomical next to gas, solar and wind. For hydrogen, natural gas consumption would need to rise dramatically.

          • airchompers

            So it’s okay to use natural gas to make electricity but not to crack into hydrogen?

            Besides, you can use your solar and wind power to make hydrogen.

          • Jim Smith

            natural gas is already needed for power. In the perfect world, we would have fusion power, but we do not. Here in the real world, we need lots of sources of energy.

            Hydrogen, as a storage mechanism, is horribly inefficient and requires significantly more electricity production than moving to straight BEV. of course you know this.

          • bioburner

            We have roof top solar so that statement is not even close to being accurate all the time.

          • airchompers

            What would happen if you ran that current through a water bath? Electrolysis.

          • Jim Smith

            you would waste a ton of energy.

    • bioburner

      I totally believe the survey. People are programmed to pull into a filling station and “Swipe their card” and fill up in a few minutes and be on your way. BEVs have to be plugged in and charge for a period of time. I get “What do you do when you forget to plug in at night” all the time. Changing people routines and charging at night is a task many ( Sadly) can not understand. And unfortunately few people care about efficiency.

      • fred smith the deplorable

        Efficiency? If a Tesla Supercharge charges a $100k Model S at 240mph, you swoon. Any Joe Blow can take a $25k econo car to the gas station and charge at 1500-2000mph.

        What about miles per dollar? ICE wins every time. Without government subsidies. And even paying the subsidies that EV’s receive.

    • Mike J

      The “other problem” with hydrogen fuel cells is the source of the energy to create the hydrogen which, at the foreseeable future, is natural gas (~95% in total). Yes, I know you can create hydrogen through electrolysis, but almost no one does this because it is many times more energy intensive than natural gas reforming. The electric grid, on the other hand, is becoming less carbon intensive as the cost of solar and wind energy has dropped precipitously. And for many individuals and businesses, charging EVs with 100% renewable is a reality. The most urgent issue facing the planet is not what kind of vehicles are used per se, but how the vehicles are fueled. And as long as we are dependent upon fossil fuels we will be hurtling towards the cliff of oblivion.

    • dogphlap dogphlap

      Hydrogen has so many cons that I find it hard to believe it will ever go main stream. Pros: hydrogen is at least in theory a much faster proposition than an electric car when it comes to ‘refuelling’. It once held out the prospect of greater range but that is no longer the case.
      Cons: greater than 90% of industrial hydrogen in use today comes from reformed methane, a product of the petroleum industry. This is cheap but far from green and results in CO, CO2 and CH4 being released into our atmosphere, all three are greenhouse gases. Electrolysis of water will also give hydrogen but it requires a lot of electrical energy to do that, that is uneconomic.
      Not only is hydrogen explosive but it is odourless and colourless. It has a wide range of concentrations with air that are explosive, much wider than gasoline which is actually quiet fussy about that. That means any H2 refuelling station has to be well maintained to minimise risk. Many items have to be replaced on a regular schedule because metals will become embrittled as the hydrogen enters their atomic structure.
      Hydrogen molecules are so small they are just about impossible to contain at the high pressures found in hydrogen vehicles without some leakage. So ceiling vents are required where hydrogen vehicles are parked inside to lessen the risk of an explosion.
      A pure battery electric vehicle can be charged overnight (or at any time really) from a
      normal AC power point or a special high current point (but it can take hours) home refuelling is not really an option for a hydrogen vehicle (the high pressures involved and the explosive nature of hydrogen preclude that even if a source of hydrogen were available).
      The energy density of H2 is poor, in order to make a practical vehicle the hydrogen gas has to be highly compressed, that even without the explosive nature of hydrogen presents a threat that has to be engineered away as best as can be done within the financial constraints of a mass market vehicle.
      A lot of work is being done on fuel cells so it is possible the present requirement for platinum will go away but for now at least platinum trumps cobalt.
      This is a long post so I’ll stop it here.

  • roseland67

    There is an electric plug of some kind with which to charge your electric vehicle in virtually every building in the country. The existing infrastructure is installed, maintained, safe, proven and dirt cheap to use.

    There is virtually no hydrogen available anywhere to charge your hydrogen vehicle.

    Absolutely uninformed consumer poll.
    I believe there will be 1,000,000 electric vehicles on the road in the US before there will be 100 consumer purchased hydrogen vehicles.

  • dogphlap dogphlap

    The Tesla Model 3 is scheduled to start sales this year. You might think that the Tesla Model S taking the number one slot for US large luxury vehicle sales for two years in a row would wake up a few of the auto executives but apparently not. The Model 3 roll out might open their eyes but frankly if they have not seen what’s going on yet I don’t think they ever will.

    • bioburner

      To add to your comment the Bolt is selling very well. Growth in sales for cars with that kind of range will be a game changer.

  • mb

    Hey, the execs just have their own alternative facts…

    • Steve Hanley

      I like that. Wish I’d said it!

  • trackdaze

    90% are able to charge at home.

    • airchompers

      There’s no way that’s accurate for American consumers.

      • Steve Hanley

        You’re right. Making home charging available for urban dwellers with no dedicated garage space is a huge issue that has to be addressed to move the EV revolution forward. Some of the problem can be addressed by making chargers available at work, but that is far from a complete solution.

        • darth

          Urban dwellers will move toward the autonomous vehicle, mobility as a service model. Then they don’t need chargers, fueling stations, or maintenance.

        • Epicurus

          There should be incentives for apartment complexes and condos to install them, perhaps from multiple sources like local, state and federal governments. They need to get serious about clean air and climate change.

          • Steve Hanley

            California, of course, it taking the lead in that regard. Hopefully, others will follow.

          • Epicurus

            California seems to be taking the lead on almost everything.

    • bioburner

      I’m thinking its more like 65%. But as you suggest EV sales are only around 1% of market share so there is a lot of room for growth in that group of homeowners. If even 20% of all new car sales were PEV the results would be outstanding.

  • Burnerjack

    Can anyone who seems to define EVs and ‘Fuel cell’ cars as separate entities be considered ‘competent’ in their field? While a fuel cell may or may not be considered a battery, the car in question is an EV in either event.
    Now, if they consider “plug in” EVs a passing fad, that’s another matter.
    There is no doubt in my mind that EVs are here and here to stay.

  • hardtruths

    If battery powered cars work like smartphones in terms of “range” and charging time, and if fuel cell cars work as gasoline cars in terms of range and fill up time then it is obvious fuel cells will win.

    If to that you add that battery performance drops in low temperatures and that hot climates are not liked by batteries, then I can not see battery powered cars prevailing.

    I am amazed that people like the Union of Concerned Scientists promote battery powered cars as superior. It seem to me their “concerned-political” part of their brains has taken oven the scientific part. Bad politics and bad science.

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