The $9 Trillion Opportunity Surrounding the Electric Vehicle Transition
The Ripple Effect of the EV Transition: How the global transition to EVs has created growth opportunities across unexpected sectors from retail to smart homes.
Imagine a world where roads hum with electric vehicles (EVs), a vision that is rapidly turning into reality in many parts of the world. The global EV market isn’t just growing; it’s catapulting into a new era of innovation and opportunity. It’s far more than the $1.6 trillion realm of manufacturing EVs, batteries, and charging infrastructure. A more compelling question to ask is, “Which industries stand to benefit from this transition?”
Simply put: Which industries will be disrupted and who will benefit from this global shift towards EVs to drive business growth?
In this article, we broaden the aperture to focus on the $9 trillion opportunity (a figure based on Prophet internal modeling) that we estimate will exist across a diverse range of industries that can harness the EV transition as a driver of growth and innovation for years to come.
The EV Transition has Become a Business Reality
We’ve applied the shift in consumer behavior towards the transition to EVs and found that there is more than $9 trillion in opportunity if you examine not just the transition itself, but the ripple effect it creates across connected industries.
Regardless of where one might fall on the political spectrum when it comes to ESG, sustainability, and the transition to the electric economy – consumers’ shift to adopting EVs has moved from being a political debate to a business reality.
An increasing number of countries have crossed what many are calling the ‘tipping point’ for EV adoption, where EVs account for more than 5% of new car sales – with 23 countries already having reached this milestone. Attempting to estimate the number of EVs on the road in the next few years leads to more unanswered questions, with history showing that once the adoption of technology hits the “tipping point”, growth can quickly become exponential.
Turn on a sports game or YouTube video, and you can’t help but notice how car companies have increasingly been focusing their advertisements on EV products. Top auto manufacturers have been embracing the enthusiasm for EVs even before they can catch up on production, with 10 EV ads during the last two US Super Bowls alone, and several more EV ads planned for this year’s Super Bowl in 2024. Looking to more digital channels, YouTube ad spending to promote EVs was up 8X over in 2023.
The Transition to an Electric Future
The transition to electric vehicles is accelerating despite the many debates about how quickly they will be adopted. The amount of capital being poured into start-ups, infrastructure, and the needed recycling providers has created somewhat of a gold rush beyond solely EV production – with venture capital investment in the space up 50% in 2022 to over $1bn, led by a focus on charging, recycling, and other less flashy but critical components of the EV value chain. Over the last several years, governments around the world have committed huge sums of money to rapidly accelerate the electrification of their economies – with billions of dollars from the recent Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S. allocated to help accelerate EV production and build the needed charging infrastructure.
2030 Outlook: EVs Reaching 10% of Total Cars on Road?
Our sustainability team has carefully considered how the global shift to EVs will not just affect the auto industry, but also the myriad of interconnected brands and businesses who should be paying attention to this change as a potential driver of growth.
Taking even the most conservative estimates, EV sales are predicted to account for over 30% of all global vehicle sales in 2030 – a far more modest estimate than the 50% of new car sales goal set forth by the White House for 2030.
Simply put, that means roughly 10% of the total cars on the road will be EVs in 2030.
The predicted large-scale changes in consumer behavior will generate massive ripple effects, forcing companies to decide how to adapt their business models, experience strategies, and value propositions. So how might this shift disrupt the many interconnected industries – Will this mean 10% fewer gas stations are needed? 10% less traditional auto mechanics? Fast casual dining at charging stations versus fast food at gas stations?
“If 10% of the total cars on the road are EVs, how might this shift disrupt the many interconnected industries that will feel its ripple effects? Will this mean 10% less gas stations needed? 10% less traditional auto mechanics?”
2030 Outlook: The EV Transition’s Impact on Three Key Groups
The Ripple Effect of a 10% EV Shift
Even taking this modest growth estimate, imagine the transformative wave the global shift to EVs will unleash. As we delve into this electric future, we need to answer three pivotal questions:
- Who will innovate and produce EVs?
- Who will provide cutting-edge services for EVs?
- Where will the EV journey take you – from driving to parking?
This exploration simplifies how to envision the EV future, slicing through the buzz to spotlight real growth opportunities. We highlight a few trailblazing industries in each category, poised to seize the monumental opportunities born from the EV wave.
Innovators and EV Manufacturers
This sector, the birthplace of EVs, is hoping to become a $1.6 trillion industry by 2030. This number is comprised of a mix of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), charging pioneers, and battery innovators. For this group, one of the largest challenges will be rapidly scaling battery production and charging infrastructure to meet soaring demand. This necessity serves as a golden opportunity for growth.
- Unlikely alliances are flourishing in the EV realm. Competitors are uniting, which resonates with consumers who applaud this shared mission for sustainability. This collaborative spirit to achieve a “common goal” is redefining brand relationships for the long haul.
- The EV industry’s trajectory is highly dependent on governmental support. As political landscapes shift so do opportunities and challenges. Brands in this space must stay agile, ready to pivot with changing policies and funding sources.
Example 1: Partnering to Build Efficiency Across the Grid
BMW, Ford, and Honda recently announced a new joint venture called ChargeScape, aimed at creating a single way to connect electric utilities, automakers and EV customers. This collaboration seeks to create a unified platform for efficient energy management, connecting bidirectional EV charging with electric grid operations. If successful, ChargeScape could be a game-changer, exemplifying how partnerships can spark growth and innovation in the EV sector.
Example 2: Competitors Collaborating to Charge Up America
A surprising number of global automakers have partnered together to address America’s charging network challenges, namely, the lack of a reliable and expansive charging network. This ambitious joint venture plans to establish over 30,000 chargers across North America, complementing Tesla’s existing network and contributing to the national goal of 500,000 chargers by 2030. This collaboration showcases how competitive brands are aligning their interests for a sustainable future.
Service Providers for EV
Beyond manufacturing, we have the many industries that will service EVs, a group of industries ripe with a $2.8 trillion opportunity by 2030. From renewable energy champions to auto-repair and fleet management innovators, these industries are gearing up for an EV-centric future.
- Long-term visionaries are investing boldly. Despite short-term uncertainties in EV adoption forecasts, large firms are strategizing about how to effectively harness the full potential of this transition.
- Adaptability is key. Companies like Shell and BP have demonstrated that transitioning from traditional revenue streams to embracing the EV shift is not only necessary but a strategic move to remain relevant.
Example 1: Shell Focuses on a Low-Carbon Future
Shell is actively steering its brand towards a low-carbon future, aligning its thoughtful approach to building their new purpose with evolving energy market demands. Through comprehensive research and substantial investments between $10-15 billion by 2025, Shell is delving into low-carbon solutions like hydrogen, EV charging, and biofuels. They are already seeing success, with their UK EV-only service station witnessing a 44% utilization increase since 2022. Shell has been investing heavily in the EV transition and its focus on expanding its EV charging network is paying off, as evidenced by EV customers visiting more frequently and spending more. This significant shift reflects Shell’s commitment to leading in the global transition to renewable energy.
Example 2: Bridgestone Mobility Solutions Launches EV Services Platform
You might know the name Bridgestone from the globally famous tire brand; however, in recent years the company has expanded its offerings to be focused on mobility and solutions. As part of this transformation, Bridgestone recently announced the launch of an EV Services Platform “to make electrification easier, cheaper, and faster for fleets”. This platform is intended to help fleet managers, EV service suppliers, and drivers alike by creating a more efficient EV service ecosystem that helps manage costs and simplifies the process of using EVs as part of a commercial fleet.
The New Destinations for Your EV
Lastly, we explore industries less directly impacted by EVs but poised to innovate and capitalize on this shift. This group has the potential to capitalize on the increasing number of EVs and encapsulates a staggering $4.9 trillion opportunity.
We focus on quick-service restaurants, convenience stores, and smart home providers. These industries are where EVs will likely spend significant time, especially considering the pivotal role of ‘Smart Homes’ in the EV charging ecosystem and the amount of time cars spend parked. The challenge for these businesses is more than installing chargers; it’s about reimagining consumer engagement and evolving business models in the EV era.
- Many brands are enthusiastic about joining the EV movement but lag in aligning their operations with their climate pledges. The real work lies in transforming business models to sync with their environmental commitments.
- A rich opportunity exists in deeply understanding the EV consumer. Pilot projects and test-and-learn initiatives are underway but grasping the unique nuances of EV consumer behavior – from charging habits to travel and purchase patterns – remains an uncharted territory ripe for exploration.
Example 1: Fast Food Is Getting in on the Action
Fast food chains are already beginning to direct their attention to the EV shift in road trip transitions. Subway announced a new pilot, the Subway Oasis, partnering with Gen Z EV Solutions to blueprint what the future of Subway EV charging stations may look like. The Oasis will include Wi-Fi, picnic tables, and green spaces – intending to appeal to the eco-conscious consumer – as well as their EV chargers. While this approach is unique, Subway is not the first company to explore this idea; Taco Bell and Starbucks have begun to pilot their own EV charging solutions, with each brand piloting charging stations at their locations with the intent of seeing how it might drive revenue and customer growth.
Example 2: Schneider Electric Creates ‘Schneider Home’ App
The French multinational company, Schneider Electric, recently shared its newest innovation, Schneider Home – an all-in-one smart system with the aim to consolidate the home energy needs of the future. Consisting of solar power, battery backup, EV charging, home automation and connected switches, the ‘Schneider Home’ allows you to visualize your energy use and customize your habits via their app.
Schneider Electric exemplifies a company that has begun to successfully align its brand purpose, value proposition, and product offerings in the market. With the brand’s purpose of “empowering all to make the most of our energy and resources,” Schneider Electric has moved past articulating a future ambition and is actively expanding the transition to a more sustainable energy future, which includes a push from Schneider into eMobility solutions and the Schneider Home.
The shift to an electric future is more than an environmental movement; it’s a catalyst for business innovation. This transition opens an array of opportunities for growth and new experiences in various sectors. Yet, we recognize that this transition may encounter speed bumps and face growing pains along the journey, requiring businesses to be agile as they innovate. At Prophet, our focus is on uncovering these potential initiatives and understanding their impact on businesses globally. Join us as we navigate this transformative journey, embracing sustainability as a key driver of change, progress, and ultimately business growth.