The global Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance has revealed the results of a global business survey which highlights a strong demand for electric and autonomous fleets as e-commerce drives change but that Australian businesses are sceptical of the technology down under.
The Survey revealed that globally 66 per cent of small businesses predict their fleets will be fully electric within the next 20 years, with 50 per cent expecting this to happen in half that time according to the global data from the survey.
However here the survey showed that less than half as many small to medium businesses in Australian believe that their fleets will be fully autonomous or fully electric compared with the world wide average with similar firms in the UK, US, China, France, Mexico and Japan.
The Alliance surveyed 3,257 global respondents running businesses with between 1 and 49 employees and with turnover up over the equivalent of A$141 million.
A total of 250 Australian owners or decision makers were surveyed and of that total only 16 per cent of them believe fleets will be fully autonomous within the next 10 years in Australia, but 23 per cent believe fleets will become fully electric within a decade.
By comparison the global average sees 50 per cent of businesses believe their vehicles will be fully autonomous within the next 10 years and 38 per cent believe fleets will become fully electric within a decade.
The Alliance commissioned the survey to gain insight into thousands of small business owners and decision makers globally and found that almost 93 per cent of business owners or decision-makers responsible for 50 vehicles or more, consider environmental sustainability of high importance.
This development comes at a time when automakers are dramatically increasing their efforts to respond to a growing customer need for sustainable vehicles, as businesses prepare for tighter emissions regulations and seek ways to address climate change.
Constantly moving goal posts when it comes to regulations are resulting in serious challenges for small business operators, despite confidence and commitment to meet the demands of e-commerce, the survey found.
Small businesses in Australia believed hat keeping up with regulations was deemed the biggest challenge logistically for 23 per cent of respondents, while 17 per cent of Australians revealed growing e-commerce and demand for deliveries is the biggest challenge.
Meantime 54 per cent of the Australian respondents feel confident that their businesses are in a good position to tackle e-commerce, which is a similar percentage to respondents in the UK and USA.
Twenty-five per cent of Australian small business operators said smarter technology was deemed the leading requirement to better prepare for e-commerce demands and improve delivery efficiencies, while the need for more vehicles came in at 12 per cent.
The concept of sustainability being the prompt to adopt new technologies within their fleets is in single figures particularly in Australia. However in Australia, 36 per cent said efficiency and 24 per cent said cost savings were more persuasive.
However businesses believe improved connectivity will bring more success, but some autonomous technologies including drones are not of value.
The survey showed that 28 per cent of Australian respondents say improved connectivity will be the major key to their business success.
Ashwani Gupta, the senior vice president of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi LCV business, said that as on-demand consumerism continues to rise, this is a crucial moment to ensure small businesses feel empowered to succeed in e-commerce.
“We’ve heard from business leaders themselves that prioritising smarter technology for fleets will help to reach their customers with increased speed and scale – factors that are becoming ever more crucial for survival in this space,” said Gupta.
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi LCV sales results show Renault’s market leading 46.2 per cent share of electric van sales in Europe generated a 13.5 per cent growth of light commercial vehicles on the Continent. The LCV business’ combined sales, which includes trucks, vans and frame-based SUVs, reached almost 2 million units, the highest sales totals in the organisation’s history.