The majority of companies assessed have explored alternative business models, however only a few are succeeding in bringing these business models to a mature state. The analysis looked for signs that the business activity is profitable, of a substantial size, and that the company has plans to expand the activity in question over a defined timescale. This level of detail was lacking for the majority of the companies, raising concerns that these business models are not given due consideration in terms of broader business strategy.
Most of the more evolved examples identified related to business activities that reduce structural barriers to market penetration of advanced vehicles. Positive examples of projects reducing structural barriers to market penetration of advanced vehicles include:
- Tesla’s renewable energy generation and storage products for homeowners, businesses and utilities – facilitating a low-carbon energy ecosystem extending beyond electric vehicle charging;
- BAIC’s ‘Optimus’ Initiative for photovoltaic battery charge and swap stations;
- Honda, Nissan and Toyota’s ‘Japan H2 Mobility’ joint initiative (with other non-automotive manufacturers and the Development Bank of Japan) to accelerate the construction of fuel cell electric vehicle fuelling stations.
More than half of the companies assessed showed examples of car sharing, car-pooling and/or other vehicle-as-a-service activities. There were interesting examples of activities related to the design and manufacture of vehicles that could facilitate modal transport shift, such as Tata Motors’ electric buses.