What is future mobility – and why should you care?

The factors affecting mobility are many and complex, but when it comes to sustainability, costs and consumer trends, all businesses should be aware of the direction of travel.

We refer to these three overarching disruptive trends as ‘future mobility’.

It is tempting to think of trends and disruption like these as a long-term issue, rather than a pressing concern to tackle in the here and now. But such a view would downplay the opportunities and threats that exist when disruption occurs. At the Future Mobility Group, we break down the factors at play:

Your employees

Employees are increasingly concerned about how the company they work for is contributing to tackling the climate emergency. The provision of charging infrastructure at an employee’s place of work can support them in making the shift to an electric vehicle (EV) with more confidence, boosting workplace motivation, recruitment and talent retention. In addition, reviewing how transport options are provided to staff can reduce the number of independent miles travelled, further improving transport sustainability. This could include car-sharing or hiring schemes, cycle-to-work incentives, as well as convenient parking and charging facilities.

Investment into companies is already partially driven by their sustainability credentials and plans, and those companies with better sustainability credentials often have higher valuations than those without.

Your customers

Consumers are already showing a tendency to shift purchase behaviour towards companies that are striving to reduce their carbon footprint. In turn, this is influencing supply chains, which are ‘greening’ quickly – a trend that is only strengthened by requirements for listed companies to disclose their climate impacts. This is likely to quickly translate into sustainability policies and practices, becoming qualifying reasons to participate in supply chains. With transport being the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, shifting to EVs is a way to ensure competitiveness is maintained.

Investors and valuation

Investment into companies is already partially driven by their sustainability credentials and plans, and those companies with better sustainability credentials often have higher valuations than those without. This does not only apply to listed companies, but to all businesses, because what is valued by consumers is ultimately valued by investors. We see this playing out across all aspects of investment – public and private, debt and equity.

Costs and efficiencies

Efficiency and cost management are always an important feature of running a business, and rarely more so than now, given the current economic headwinds. While there remains a price difference between EVs and traditional ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles, this does not necessarily apply when the total cost of ownership is taken into account – with EVs, this can be 10% to 30% lower.

There are also compelling tax reasons for switching to EV vehicles, especially with salary sacrifice schemes, and government initiatives can further incentivise this shift.

Charging infrastructure

Range anxiety is often cited as the main reason for not shifting to electric, but this may be a question of charging anxiety rather than concerns about range. There are currently more than 30,000 charge points on the public charging network and the government is investing heavily in rapid charging on the Strategic Road Network. It is important to consider the provision of workplace charging and home charging, as well as accessing the public network. Workplace charging can be added to open or semi-open networks, for example, creating new revenue streams and improving customer experiences.

Inevitably, the impact of the coronavirus crisis must be considered when looking at transport use. While it is unclear how long we will be under the cloud of a pandemic, it is clearly challenging the use of public transport, and – for now at least – driving more people into cars.

Challenging economic times require points of difference for people and businesses to thrive. Whether you are looking to attract or retain talent, make a positive contribution to the climate emergency, reduce costs, or increase customer satisfaction, there are many reasons to fully explore and understand the trends at play in mobility – and take action now.

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