The increasing demand for car-sharing services is creating a new class of vehicle: Cars with flexible interiors that are fully tailored to the needs of users, says management consulting company Roland Berger.
In Europe, the USA and China alone, around one million of these specially designed vehicles will be sold by 2020 - often with electric drive. Demand is expected to reach 2.5 million units by 2025. According to the new Roland Berger study "A new breed of cars. Purpose-built electric vehicles for mobility on demand."
"This new vehicle type combines two of the most important megatrends in mobility: the increased use of car-sharing services and electric mobility," explains Jan-Philipp Hasenberg, Partner at Roland Berger. "In addition, this new vehicle class focuses on the passenger - not the driver - and is specially designed for use as a taxi.
This opens up an attractive market segment for automobile companies, as these vehicles can be produced for about half the cost of conventional passenger cars due to their low degree of complexity. Instead of differentiation through physical parameters such as engine performance and driving behaviour, these vehicles offer the possibility to be individually adjusted by electronic systems and software. In addition, the E-models enable car manufacturers to better achieve the CO2 targets of their fleets. "Automobile companies should therefore actively occupy this niche market in order to build up a strong competitive position and inspire their customers for the new car models," advises Hasenberg.