Monday, 12 August 2019 12:04

Electric, driverless cars could boost economy by $92 billion: study

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Electric and driverless cars could boost Australia’s economy by $92 billion by 2050, a rise of two to three percent over projected GDP without new mobility, according to a new study.

That’s the prediction of L.E.K. Consulting in a study it conducted on new technologies and mobility and the estimated impact that EVs and AVs will have on the Australian economy by 2050.

According to L.E.K. options such as car sharing (e.g., GoGet, Flexicar) and ride sharing/pooling (e.g., Uber, Lyft, Ola) are already changing the way we travel and use traditional transport modes such as taxis and private cars – and innovations such as autonomous vehicles (AVs), electric vehicles (EVs) and on-demand transport are likely to bring even more dramatic shifts.

As well as predictions on a boost to the economy, key findings from the L.E.K report include:

  • Forecasts suggest new mobility could boost employment in Australia by 200,000-274,000 full-time equivalents, or about 1%-2%.
  • About half of the increase in GDP, or $32 billion - $ 44billion, is likely to come from improved labour force participation. As it becomes easier to get to work, the labour force participation rate could increase by about 1 percentage point by 2050 over and above a scenario without new mobility options
  • Lower vehicle accident rates will also be a key economic benefit, improving GDP by $30 billion - $46 billion by 2050. Improved labour productivity and lower insurance costs will account for 87%-89% of this GDP increase.

And other findings in the L.E.K. analysis include:

  • The growth of EVs could see the internal combustion engine fall to as little as 17% of Australia’s car market by 2050, compared with 99% in 2017, and
  • Robot taxis could account for 25%-45% of AVs by 2050, the largest part of the AV sector

“New mobility innovations promise a range of social and environmental advantages, making travel simpler and cheaper, reducing pollution, and cutting road accidents,” says Mark Streeting, Partner at L.E.K. and report author.

“The analysis suggests there could be measurable economic benefits for Australia from consumers adopting new mobility trends and technologies.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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