Over the past couple of years, we've seen trends such as shared mobility in the form of car-sharing and ride-sharing services, became increasingly popular as people sought convenient and cost-effective ways to get around. The development and deployment of autonomous vehicles continues to advance. Multimodal transportation is on the rise. And the use of small, personal transportation devices like electric scooters - often referred to as micro-mobility - has become more widespread. But what does 2023 have in store for us? Here are our predictions for mobility trends coming this year.
The trend of fewer households having second cars will continue to grow in 2023. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 59% of American homes had two or more cars in 2020, but a lot has changed since then. We’ve been through a pandemic that fundamentally changed how we work and commute. The cost of energy is rising, as are interest rates, and more people are thinking more about their own environmental impact. People’s ability to buy a second car is decreasing as their motives for not having one increase. This double-edged sword will mean more people will switch to alternatives such as car-sharing, e-bikes, and other mobility solutions in 2023 than ever before.
We already started to see car subscriptions taking off at the tail end of 2022, but you can expect services such as Free2move’s Car On Demand to grow further in 2023. Both car-sharing services and manufacturers are jumping into this market as vehicle affordability reaches new lows and economic recessions hit around the world. When money is tight, drivers will look for solutions that mean the cost of owning their own car can be boiled down to one, single monthly payment. The lack of long-term commitment will also appeal to drivers during uncertain economic times. How much of a hit the car subscription providers will have to take to provide these services off the ground remains to be seen though.
The market caps for Tesla and Nio will return to reality. Once worth more than $1 trillion, Tesla lost more than 65% of its market value in 2022. Investors can point to Elon Musk and the Twitter takeover distraction, but the real problem for Tesla is decreasing demand in China and the USA (the world’s two largest car markets) and faltering production. China, in particular, is key to the company’s growth. Meanwhile, Shanghai-based Nio is facing the same problem from the opposite side of the world looking west, and also lost more than 60% of its market value in 2022. The two poster boys of EV startups are in for a very tough 2023 when Nobel Prize-winning economists like Paul Krugman are comparing them to Bitcoin.
We've already witnessed a dramatic rise in e-bike demand over the past three years, but now urban dwellers are moving even more towards emissions-free mobility solutions. The rise of the e-cargo is happening. These electric bicycles with large cargo areas at the front or back are expensive to buy, but sharing services are landing. In some cities, e-cargo bikes can now be rented the same way car-sharing works, using just your smartphone and an app. E-cargo bikes are also easy to manoeuvre in congested urban areas and can be used to make deliveries in areas where access is limited by traffic or parking constraints.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay have already changed the way drivers interact with their infotainment systems, but even more personalisation is coming this year. Being on the road is no longer an excuse to skip that work call. Lynk & Co is bringing built-in meetings directly to your infotainment system. It's working with Microsoft on an app that lets users to join Teams meetings on the go. It’s selling this one as "bringing a new dimension of experience to the car and adding versatility to mobility, core to the mission of Lynk & Co"... General Motors has also partnered with Microsoft to deploy new software-defined vehicle services. Meanwhile, Tesla is working with Zoom on a similar software solution. In-car personalisation is only going to grow further in 2023.
Sr. Editorial Content Strategist
"Own less, share more."
David is on a mission to improve the quality of life in cities through modern mobility solutions.