The emerging potential of automated driving technologies promises to disrupt the global transportation system. Theoretically, automation allows users to dramatically improve cost, time, and space efficiency. The results of such benefits are likely to encourage greater adoption of light duty vehicle (LDV) travel via highly utilized vehicles. This paradigm may make individually owned vehicles obsolete, especially in urban centers. Eventually, their removal would allow for significant changes to the urban landscape—parking demand would likely decrease and cities would be able to shape interconnected transportation systems. Meanwhile, vehicles are expected to become smaller and highly energy efficient.
Yet, the energy efficiency gain of LDVs may be lost in the transportation system. By decreasing the costs and hassle of LDV transportation through automation, the system is apt to become more dependent on it. Hence, efficient mass transit systems will probably see declines in ridership, leading to greater energy consumption. Unless automation aligns with alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) development, the end product will be more fossil fuels consumption. This eventuality is at odds with the goals of many national and local governments around the world. However, alternative fuels have the potential to be reliable replacements to gasoline and diesel.
This Navigant Research report evaluates the economics and capabilities of competing powertrain options that will feed the future transportation system. The study provides market sizing for the overall LDV market and light duty internal combustion engine, stop-start, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric, fuel cell, natural gas, and propane autogas vehicles (ICEVs, SSVs, HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs, FCVs, NGVs, and PAGVs). Global forecasts for annual sales and vehicle populations are driven by scenario forecasts on battery prices, oil prices, and autonomous mobility system penetrations within the LDV fleet. Forecasts are provided by segment under conservative, base, and aggressive scenarios. Core model scenario forecasts are also provided alongside powertrain sensitivities to each scenario parameter.