Electric, Hybrid and Shared Cars: What Should We Expect from the Automotive Industry in 2020?

Automotive analysts are predicting big changes for the industry this year, with rapid transformations being led by the introduction of innovative new models and the shifting mindsets of consumers. 

Climate change is of course a huge concern, and the automotive industry is already experiencing the impact of this on purchasing decisions first hand. Electric vehicles are quickly becoming popular throughout the world, as are hybrid cars that promise consumers the best of both worlds. 

Over the course of 2020 we can expect to see a huge shift in the way that drivers use their cars, and how they own them. Car ownership has been the norm for generations, but this year we can look forward to a monumental change here too. 

Shared cars are, without a doubt, the next big thing. In 2017 this relatively small market was worth £1.5 billion, but by 2024 it is predicted to top £12 billion, as the market skyrockets in response to a rapid increase in demand. 

The following trends will revolutionise the automotive industry over the course of 2020. Keep your eyes peeled for some hugely exciting, fast-paced changes. 

Electric vehicles on the rise

Today’s drivers are more aware of their carbon footprint than ever before, and rising numbers of drivers are now looking to minimise their impact on the environment. For those who cannot avoid driving, this often means trading in their petrol or diesel vehicles for something altogether more eco-friendly. 

Electric cars have been in mass production since the 1990s, but it’s only recently that they have been able to offer a practical alternative to traditional vehicles. This year will see a significant increase in the ownership of electric vehicles, as more drivers make the switch. 

The rise of electric vehicles is being facilitated by government and private investment in charging facilities, which has made them a viable option for the first time. There are now 10,666 electric car charging points across the UK, with more being added daily. In just the past month we’ve seen 313 brand new devices installed, with a whopping 570 new connectors. 

A new take on car ownership

Car sharing is changing the way we think about vehicles. A handful of trailblazing, community-focused platforms are now emerging, offering a new take on car ownership that promises great benefits for owners and hirers alike.  

Car sharing enables drivers to access vehicles as and when they need them. Drivers also avoid having to fork out for incredibly expensive maintenance bills for cars that they only drive intermittently. It’s a cost-effective, planet-friendly alternative to owning a car, and it’s already proving hugely popular. 

Looking at figures collected over the course of 2017 and 2018, Statista found that driver behaviour changed significantly as a result of joining car sharing platforms. The research reported a reduction in ownership from 38% to 21% in drivers who remained members for over 12 months. 

A greater choice of hybrid models

Choice has long been thought of as the deciding factor in the successful uptake of new technology in the automotive industry. 

Whilst the expansion in model choices for new electric and hybrid vehicles is testament to the growing strength of the industry, it’s also likely to mean that the uptake of this exciting new technology will go through the roof over the months and years to come. 

Just a decade ago, electric vehicle options were limited to city cars, small family cars, small vans and sports coupés. Compare that to the choices available in 2020, and you’ll immediately notice the difference. Today’s consumers can choose from over 125 different vehicle types, ranging from hatchbacks, estates and large family cars to SUVs and large vans. 

Digital innovation as standard

The evolution of new digital technologies is having a huge effect on the way we complete almost all of our day to day tasks, and of course driving is no exception. Many new model releases now offer integrated digital technology as standard, providing superior comfort and cutting edge technology for every driver. 

AI has enabled manufacturers to provide personalised driving experiences, with vehicles now capable of adjusting seat settings, mirror angles, temperature and music every time a new driver enters the car. We’ve even heard rumours of AI technology programmed to alert drivers when they appear to be growing tired, and of course the race is on to put an entirely autonomous vehicle on the roads in the very near future. 

The automotive industry is shifting and adapting to changes in the way we live and the opportunities that digital innovation presents. With new car sharing platforms offering a cost-effective, eco-friendly alternative to ownership, we can expect to see a huge transformation in the way we think about owning vehicles over the coming years. 

Electric and hybrid vehicles are already taking over the industry, with increasing numbers of eco-friendly models being introduced to the market all the time. We have no doubt that 2020 will be a big year of change for the automotive industry, as the market develops in line with new opportunities and changing consumer behaviour. Watch this space. 


This article was written by London-based-car-sharing platform, hiyacar.

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