Arowana sponsored the 2017 Responsible Investment Australasian Association (RIAA) conference and organised this year’s keynote speaker, Tony Seba, the author of Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation
At the 2017 Responsible Investment Australasian Association (RIAA) conference, keynote speaker, Tony Seba’s talk concentrated on how rapid technology has made energy from the sun cheaper and how fast the cost of battery storage is falling.
Tony shared his research with over 350 delegates at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, noting that the confluence of technology changes and cheaper alternative energy sources will see the extinction of the internal combustion engine. Many will fail to anticipate the extent of the disruption that battery storage will bring into the transport industry. Electric vehicles (EV) with 100x less parts will be 10x cheaper to maintain, and with the ability to charge an EV from solar power, transport will be much cleaner for the environment.
Tony also discussed the many advancements made in autonomous EVs. He pointed out how individual car ownership will soon be made redundant, given how autonomous EVs combined with an on-demand service such as Uber, will ultimately make private or individual car ownership superfluous, and an unnecessary expense. Car fleets will be up to 80% smaller, drastically reducing the need for parking spots. This will be an opportunity for urban planners to redesign cities and create more liveable and affordable residential spaces replete with green parks and additional zones for walking and social interaction.
Tony was later joined by a panel that included Arowana Investment Director, Rahim Chunara; VivoPower CEO, Carl Weatherley-White; EV Council CEO, Behyad Jafari; Credit Suisse ESG Analyst, Zoe Whitton; and Car Next Door CMO, Merryn Clancy.
The panel discussion was robust and went well into the morning break. The discussion made it apparent that policies and infrastructure need to be put in place to help drive conditions for acceptance and adoption of these impending changes. In response to the questions regarding when participants would be turning up to a RI Conference in an autonomous EV, most thought it would be around 2027. Tony, however, thought it could be sooner―perhaps by 2023. Regarding queries about solar energy, Australia already has the highest penetration rate in the world for residential solar and could lead the world in the adoption of EVs as well as autonomous EVs.
Arowana’s global observations point towards autonomous EVs making commercial sense as they are far more economic, with less energy and labour costs. Autonomous vehicles are already a reality in business―as Arowana’s advisory board member and robotics and automation expert, Prof. Hugh Durrant-Whyte, has proven when he helped implement the automation at Patricks Stevedores and the autonomous mining trucks for Rio Tinto.
All we need to do now is to convert them into autonomous electric vehicles.