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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The electrification of auto-motion is upon us. With recently constant enthusiasts, pressure on Tesla stock ($TSLA) and affirmation of early adopter auto manufactures like Chevrolet or Volvo’s stated commitment of every vehicle produced after 2019 being electric or hybrid, manufactures from Volkswagen to Ford to Nissan to Toyota are following suit.
Much as the steam engine propelled economic development and commerce in the late 1700’s and 1800’s, affordable and accessible electrical charging will revolutionize travel and equally disrupt traditional economies by eliminating range anxiety.
Over the course of the last several months plans, have formalized and been made public by local utilities and governments. Utilities in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are making investments in fast charging stations. This augments earlier commitments of Sun Country. On P.E.I., Summerside has made an early commitment to charging stations, but provincially there remains a lack of meaningful incentives for drivers to fully convert vehicle purchases.
What can we anticipate for the future? It will be electrifying. The pace and impact of change will be profound and rapid.
Within five years all competitive vehicle OEM’s will be compelled to offer a variety of electric vehicles. If you consider the exponential growth forecasts, P.E.I. could see as many as 10 per cent of vehicles being electrified.
Ride sharing and autonomous vehicles will have a significant impact on transportation. With an ever challenged labour pool of long haul truckers, this fleet of skill will be replaced by legions of driverless trucks. Considering the necessity of trucking transport to P.E.I. this will be profound.
The impact to skilled trades of mechanics, gasoline distribution stations, automotive dealers will all by culled by operations matching declining demand. Electric vehicles, like iPods, there are no moving parts thus auto retailing’s high yield service revenue and mechanic trades will be ‘naturally selected’ from the market.
Within five-years communities and progressive businesses will have adopted cleaner technologies motivated by punitive carbon taxation and yielding to increasing social and constituent pressures. Where stalwart industries decline rapidly, new industries will ascend rapidly marking an economic transformative event.
Roads will become virtually accident free as autos safety features and driverless functions mature. Tedium chores like shopping for groceries become missed by nostalgic shoppers as goods are selected online or automatically replenished and delivered by drone, robots and autonomous delivery service in larger markets.
Increasingly people are harnessing their own electricity needs directly from the environment. With this increasing capacity come an increase in creativity. The adoption of long awaited electric vehicles is now upon us and 2018 – 2023 will see a transition to early adoption, which will be followed by mainstream acceptance. Thus, many business models must also adapt, and quickly
Blake Doyle is The Guardian's small business columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.