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Roland Berger: demand for purpose-built vehicles for ride-sharing, many electric, to reach 2.5M cars by 2025

The growing demand for ride-sharing services worldwide is spawning a new category of vehicles with a flexible interior that can be individually tailored to the needs of their users. In a new report, consultancy Roland Berger forecasts that one million of these specially designed vehicles, many of them electric, are set to be sold by 2020 in Europe, the United States and China alone. Demand will reach some 2.5 million by 2025, according to the report.


This new type of car unites two of the key mobility megatrends in one vehicle: ride-sharing and electromobility. What this new vehicle category does is put the passenger, not the driver, firmly center stage. And it is purpose built for use as a taxi service.

—Jan-Philipp Hasenberg, Partner at Roland Berger

An attractive market segment for automotive OEMs is opening up here, given that the reduced complexity of these vehicles will allow them to be manufactured for about half the cost of a conventional car. Further, with electric models in their portfolio, automakers will be better able to meet applicable CO2 targets.

Vehicle manufacturers should take active steps to get into this niche market now so that they can establish a strong competitive position and get their customers excited about the new models.

—Jan-Philipp Hasenberg

Passengers, too, will benefit from the new mobility concept. These vehicles offer higher levels of convenience and are also cheaper to buy and maintain because they don’t require oil changes and the brakes don’t wear out so fast, for example.

We anticipate the price per kilometer for using these cars to come in at between 0.5 and 0.8 euros. These purpose-built vehicles will therefore be among the cheapest means of getting around in a car. The only thing that will be cheaper to use, at less than 0.3 euros per kilometer, will be genuine robocabs without a driver.

—Wolfgang Bernhart, Partner at Roland Berger

There is also much potential in the market for ride-sharing services. Such players are experiencing remarkable growth worldwide as the demand for mobility services that don’t depend on personal car ownership continues to tick ever upward.

One of the main drivers here will be China, which makes up at least 60 percent of the market, but Europe and the United States will also see their market for these vehicles grow as time goes on. Indeed, this is a key growth market that no OEM can afford to ignore.

—Jan-Philipp Hasenberg


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