When can fleet managers expect the next automotive revolution?

Any business that depends on a fleet of vehicles will understand the varying expenses involved and how these will evolve over the coming years. 

When will future concepts actually make it to the country's roads?

For example, the rise of hybrid cars and all-electric vehicles promise fuel savings for organisations that adopt this technology, and alternative manufacturing methods suggest that fleet maintenance will become quicker and cheaper in the future. 

However, while there's no doubt that engineers across the globe are working hard on these advancements, not all of them are common on the country's roads. So, when will future concepts turn into usable realities for Australian fleet managers?

Electric cars are on the path to competitiveness

While organisations might be used to new technology innovations on a small scale, few new products represent as big a paradigm shift as green cars. In particular, electric vehicles are set to disrupt more than 100 years of motoring. 

When - or if - electric vehicles take over from their petrol-powered counterparts, drivers can forget about changing gears and filling up at a petrol station. Instead, they just have to charge their vehicles overnight or during the day while on a break.

Consulting firm McKinsey & Company investigated how the uptake of this trend is evolving, finding that it still hard to predict exactly how widespread consumer uptake will be over the coming decades. For example, by 2030 the organisation indicated that green cars could account for anywhere between 10 and 50% of the total market. 

While recent announcements from the Detroit Auto Show suggested that manufacturers are well and truly invested in these trends, it could be a while before consumers respond. 

Electric cars could soon be a common sight.Electric cars could soon be a common sight.

3D printing could help fleet maintenance evolve

Reflecting the theme of evolution that's dictating current automotive trends, research company Frost & Sullivan investigated the way 3D printing could change car manufacturing in the future. According to the organisation, once the technology becomes cheaper and more efficient, it could begin to influence many stages of automotive development, from the supply chain to aftermarket product developers. 

Frost & Sullivan reported that these trends will likely lead to an expansion of 3D printing's role in the automotive industry. Last year, the overwhelming majority (90%) of all 3D printing applications in the automotive industry involved prototyping, leaving just 10% that created actual production parts. 

With everything from safety technologies to fleet maintenance procedures set to evolve, it will likely be a busy few years for fleet managers looking to stay ahead of the curve.