By 2030 It Will be Ten Times Cheaper to Ride in an Electric Robo-Taxi Than Drive


A new report suggests that by 2030, it could be 10 times cheaper to ride in an electric automated taxi than to own your own car.

The report, entitled Rethinking Transportation, was co-authored by James Arbib and Tony Seba. Arbib is a venture investor from London, and Seba an entrepreneur and author.

The report says that autonomous cars may be ready for widespread deployment by 2021, and most researchers are confident it will happen sometime between 2020 to 2025. Within 10 years after the technology is ready for mass adoption, the report says, the majority of trips may take place in electric robo-taxis. This will be possible because electric cars could be anywhere from 2 to 4 times cheaper than driving your own car, and with ride-sharing apps, a trip could cost as little as three cents a mile.

Electric self-driving taxis will be cheaper for a variety of reasons, one of which is because they have the potential to eliminate the vast majority of accidents, meaning insurance could cost far less. Other factors include that the cost of charging a battery is cheaper than buying gas and that electric cars need less maintenance to remain roadworthy.

James Arbib summarizes what will keep electric cars on the road:

“It all comes down to vehicle degradation, essentially. When you compare the powertrain of an electric vehicle to a gasoline vehicle, there are about 20 moving parts in the power train of an electric vehicle, and 2,000 or so in a gasoline vehicle. So there’s just a lot more that can go wrong in a gasoline vehicle.”

The authors conclude that because of the above factors, plus a few more, it might be as much as ten times cheaper to ride in an electric automated taxi than drive your own car within only another decade. Major economic and lifestyle changes would follow from this fact, indeed, Arbib says that electric vehicles represent not an “energy transition,” but a “technological disruption.”