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Shaun Sadlier's blog: Tech companies becoming car makers

Date: 16 October 2017

You'll have seen the news stories that Dyson, most famous for their vacuum cleaners, are planning on entering the electric car market by 2020.

One of the notable things about the arrival of the EV as a viable form of daily transport is the number of new manufacturers that it is bringing to the market. Tesla, obviously, but also others like Faraday and a whole slew of Chinese companies.

It is almost certain that all this competition will drive innovation quite quickly. For example, it appears that Dyson's technological advantage will be the work they have been doing on solid state batteries while there is also a good chance that prices will be driven down to levels much closer to mainstream cars.

However, this level of competition will also provide a challenge for the manufacturers. A recent story from Bloomberg reported that there will be 136 different EVs on the market worldwide by the end of 2022, made by both these new entrants and established car companies. That's a lot of models in a market which, while growing, will still be dwarfed by the sale of petrols, diesels and hybrids. It doesn't take an economist to tell you that not all of those vehicles  will sell in the numbers the manufacturers require.

What is perhaps interesting from a fleet point of view is that, in a company car market that has been stable for decades, we might see a degree of disruption as tech companies become car makers and vice versa. With very few exceptions, fleets are currently selecting cars from the same choice of manufacturers today as they were two or three decades ago. By the end of the next decade, that could have changed.

As ever it's going to be important to keep a close eye on the market over the coming years, and for fleets and their drivers some helathy competition can only be a good thing, providing greater choice and more options.



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