Data-driven business models will power the future of e-mobility

Rapid technological developments and transformational societal requirements are impacting the whole mobility industry. There is a growing need for finding new and sustainable solutions aligned with the changes in the mobility behavior of customers and pressing environmental standards. Due to increasing worldwide pressure to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, the market-significance of electric vehicles is higher than ever. Against this backdrop, e-mobility is gradually emerging as a winner.

27 March 2019, By Sonali Kamble


Different demographic changes such as urbanization and the aging population in developed countries will certainly pose a challenge for the global e-mobility market. These trends and drivers will not only determine what changes occur in the transport sector but also how quickly they occur.
The automotive industry has already reacted by making vehicles smarter, cleaner and more connected through advanced propulsion systems (EVs) and by developing user-centric business models. A major part of this change has been brought about by leveraging the power of data.

How is data being leveraged for e-mobility?

Data-driven business model

Data-driven business models convert the value of data into revenue by means of direct or indirect monetization. These data-driven business models can have a focus on understanding customers’ needs as well as on optimizing internal processes. The main developments are:

  • Connected devices and data harvesting methods are opening the door to a plethora of data based services like Infotainment, customization, etc.
  • In contrast, data matching connects customers’ needs with the demand resulting in services like carpooling, car sharing, ride-hailing, predictive maintenance, mobile payments etc.
  • Data-as-a-Service based business models monetize the data by selling a product through a single transaction to provide a service like experience applications, parking spots finder, real-time traffic information etc.

The automotive service industry is projected to constitute 50% of the total automotive revenue overcompensated by data-driven services by the year 2050. Data-driven services can have a huge impact on OEMs’ brands. In a recent study conducted by the BVDW, what comes as a surprise is that 92% of customers are ready to share data and 84% are willing to pay for such services while the technological readiness enabling these services is lacking. This gap will see the creation and emergence of business models addressing problems that did not exist before.

How is e-mobility spanning out?

Technology trends like 5G, HD Maps for autonomous driving, quantum computing, and blockchain will be shaping how Unique Value Propositions will address niche areas. With Germany being an important center of the automobile industry, it comes as no surprise that the industry is also experiencing immense activity to adapt to these changes and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals as well as European Union level goals.

With a legislative push from the public sector, the e-mobility market is diversifying ranging from e-scooters, e-boards, and other small electric vehicles to larger electric buses and trucks. The last quarter of 2018 saw tremendous growth and investment in innovative e-mobility technology and business models. In the future, electric vehicles are likely to offer competitive cost advantages with a diverse product portfolio comparable to internal combustion engine (ICE) cars.

Which potential areas are untapped and what hurdles lie ahead?

The future of driving

Although electric vehicles and associated services are on the rise, the battle remains far from being conquered. As companies expand their fleets with an increasing share of electric vehicles, new needs are generated which lead to significant untapped innovation potential in the future. Vehicle pools are being created to reduce the number of underutilized cars to streamline company vehicle usage. And with the rising number of leasing companies in the private car driver market, several multimodal Mobility-as-a-Service models have the potential to gain a momentous share in the growing market.

Community services are also what is lacking. The rural regions are less addressed as compared to urban ones. With the changing demographics of non-urban communities, comprehensive and smart e-mobility solutions will be needed soon. The leading examples of Volkswagen partnering with the municipality of Tarmstedt to provide rural e-car sharing services since 2015 and a living e-mobility project funded by the BMWi to spread e-mobility concepts in Lower Saxony, are paving the way. New business ideas also need to deal with facilitating accessibility for people with reduced mobility in non-urban regions where public transport is scarce.

But the rural regions are definitely areas that have huge promising potential. Research has shown that demand-oriented mobility solutions for rural areas are feasible and Shared Autonomous Vehicle services can actually be monetized with a return rate of 14%. Companies and communities will need to learn how to differently navigate new solutions for shared mobility with integrated energy systems, public transport, and infrastructure. This has called for cooperation within and across industries including the automotive, energy utilities, as well as urban and rural infrastructures.
With the societal, environmental and political changes the automotive industry must face, the customers’ willingness to share data becomes an incredibly crucial resource. This does not only include changes in the end products and services offered to customers but also how data is processed, analyzed and interpreted to meet and foresee the shifting needs of society.

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