The gap is growing between those who can buy electricity and those who cannot change
(SIG) Rome, May 12 – Italians drive more today than they did before the pandemic. Despite this greater use of four wheels, the purchasing market has virtually stalled and the fleet continues to age. The prevalence of electric cars is growing slowly, almost exclusively in the cities of northern Italy and in company fleets.
The “mobility gap” is increasing between those who can afford cars with new engines (SUVs and large cars) and those who can not and trust their old car. Rental, even for individuals, is a candidate to be the engine of a larger and more sustainable, from an economic point of view, the proliferation of these vehicles.
These are the main pieces of evidence from the research “Mobility that does not change – A two-speed Italy, between those who embrace the new … and those who can not yet afford it”, conducted by ANIASA, the association, which represents the mobility services sector, and by the strategic consulting firm Bain & Company, presented during a press conference in Milan. The study analyzes the changes in Italians’ mobility habits and examines the progress in the transition to electrified mobility.
To do this, he takes as his starting point an assumption: in recent months, Italians have returned to using cars massively, about 60% more than they did pre-pandemic (in January 2020), as certified by the Apple Maps App. This growth in mobility flows almost exclusively reflects a local phenomenon, as the level of international tourism is still well below the historical level (-50% compared to 2019).
The research conducted on 1,000 consumers further confirms these trends: The passenger car is the most frequently used means of transport (from 69% in 2020 to 73% in 2021), and users are much more likely than previous years to use car sharing (from -54% in 2020, to -16% in 2021 to + 2% in 2022) and electric scooters (from -8% in 2021 to + 5% in 2022). The basis for this newfound mobility is also the return to the workplace: While people in 2019 on average only worked remotely 0.8 days a week, Covid brought this value to 2.6 in 2020 and then dropped to 2, 1 in 2021 and only 1, 4 days a week in 2022. Pretty much the same as in the period before Covid.
Research shows how the car market, despite its newfound mobility, is still struggling with the worst crisis since the 1970s. If the pandemic crisis had already hit hard as early as 2020, the chip shortage and the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, with the consequent lack of cable systems produced in the territory, would continue to blow on the fire of the crisis. In 2021, registrations fell to less than 1.5 million units, with 2022 marking a 27% decline from the beginning of the year.
However, the temporary closure of the market may not be an absolute problem in itself, as Italy has one of the highest motoring rates in the world (670 cars per 1,000 inhabitants, about 1.5 cars per household). It is a shame, however, that the constant aging of the car fleet continues to be recorded, going from 2000 to today from an average age of 8.8 to 11.5 years. The answer to the need to modernize our mobility can not only come from new forms of mobility (eg sharing bikes and scooters), which are particularly prevalent in the metropolitan context, where, however, only 15.5% of the fleet in circulation is present today. .
Electricity is growing, but only in the metropolises of northern Italy and in the naval world. South and private struggles – Consumers have not yet embraced the new mobility trends struggling to establish themselves in the current context. Whole electric cars (Bev) saw their share increase in 2021, while still remaining concentrated in the major metropolises of northern Italy (5.3% share), thanks to consumer profiles prone to innovation and good economic accessibility. The relationship between regional income per per capita and Bev’s prevalence is now clear.
This segment is still not very relevant, with a weight of around 4% compared to the 2021 total and a decrease to 3.3% in the first quarter of 2022 (halved in the private channel, down to 1.8%). However, consumers prefer hybrid-mild purchases, which do not appear to have a significant effect on overall emissions.
Finally: the car market is increasingly projecting towards larger models … And expensive – The study also highlights how different factors today need to be aligned for the final development of the electric car. The simultaneous growth of SUVs (which increased from 4% in 2000 to 51% in 2021) does not facilitate this transition due to the consequent increase in list prices.
According to the research, a reflection on our country’s future mobility model is therefore inevitable: If the estimates for reduction of the smaller segments were to be realized (segment A from 18% to 6% of the total market), a concrete risk of “mobility distinguishes” between them, who will be able to afford cars with new engines (SUVs and big cars), and those who can not and will have to resort to local public transport, the real absent in the public debate.
Rental, the only way to a wider and more sustainable distribution of the electric vehicle – Given these structural contradictions in the car market, rental appears to be the only lever capable of “democratizing new products”, making them accessible to the most. In fact, the long-term rental channel now guarantees a much more sustainable mix of emissions than direct purchase. For example, in the private channel (with tax code only), as much as 30% of rental cars have an emission of less than 60 g / km, against 6% of the cars bought.
And even among companies, registered with emissions above 160 g / km is 28% for companies that buy and falls to 9% for those who choose to rent. The confirmation comes from consumers, who stated that they are more likely to use long-term rent (+ 5% in 2022 vs. 2021, compared to -2% in 2021 vs. 2020). “The study confirms the car’s absolute centrality to the movements of Italians even in this phase of resumption of work and social activities – emphasizes Alberto Viano, chairman of Aniasa- The road is now marked, the electric is the future of mobility. Rental is a natural driving force for a faster and more efficient distribution, both among companies and among individuals, who today for economic reasons are less attracted to these engines.
Thanks to the rental, the still high value of a newer and less polluting car is spread over several years, which guarantees a certain cost and eliminates the risk of impairment ”. “The automotive world is preparing for a new future and Italy must be ready while respecting its own distinctive features. There are strong differences that need to be bridged and rental is the most effective lever to ensure this transition happens with a language (ie with commercial formulas) that is simple, uniform and understandable to all types of users, starting with individuals.
In this sense, the transition of the sector must also be seen from a safety point of view, which the consumer must be aware of: The newer rental cars have more advanced levels of assisted driving and are therefore an additional guarantee for the safety of motorists and pedestrians, ”explains Gianluca Di Loreto, partner in Bain & Company. (Red / Dire) 04:10 12-05-22