The new mobility paradigm – transformation of value chain and business models

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Krakow (2012)


Automotive value chain, business models, ecosystem, electromobility, recycling, techno-economic paradigm


Four categories of innovations have been identified by Freeman and Perez (1) incremental innovations, radical innovations, new technological systems (systemic innovations), and technological revolutions or new techno-economic paradigms. New techno-economic paradigms represent changes in technological systems that are so far-reaching in their effects that they have a major influence on the behaviour of the entire economy. Scarcity of oil and external costs like global warming are the key arguments and the main drivers of the change of the current paradigm. They will affect especially the mobility of individuals and the interlinked business models.

Thus optimization of combustion engines, lightweight constructions of chassis and car bodies as well as the usage of biofuel are first developments that cope with these trends by achieving reduced oil consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The following step of innovation is realized by hybrid vehicles with an electrified power train that combine gasoline with electric batteries or hydrogen using fuel cells as energy sources. Nevertheless the overall target is still to provide mobility with no local emissions from the vehicle and less energy consumption. Electrified vehicles do not produce any off-gases and show a better CO2-balance as well as the highest efficiency in using energy well-to-wheel compared with other drivetrain concepts. On a Well to Wheel basis, this is only true if renewables are used to produce electricity.(2)
Assumed that regenerative energy sources will be used – e.g. the roadmap of the European Union for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 (3) or the German energy concept (4) estimated that by 2050 their proportion will range at approximately 80% of the gross national consumption of electric energy – electromobility will dominate the market in the long run.
These trends and developments will lead to fundamental changes within the value chain of the global automotive industry.(5) Through these changes novel business models within newly created markets will raise e.g. extended mobility services, activities aiming at the infrastructure, new opportunities in the field of energy transmission and supply and even  new strategies of recycling, reusing or reducing the use of resources in order to address global scarcity issues.
Especially for the established players of the automotive industry like original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or 1st and 2nd tier suppliers this implicates opportunities and risks at the same time. But also new players will get the chance to create and enter new markets with new or extended products or services and lead the new value chain.

This paper compiles and evaluates current approaches and business models of selected OEMs together with upcoming players. Additionally their positions within the existing value chain are being analyzed and classified. Bringing together the identified drivers of changes with current trends within the automotive industry the authors also show new concepts of extended business models, e.g. the idea of an ecosystem, that have the potential to cause an additional shift of power within the global mobility value chain.

(1) Freeman, C., and C. Perez. "Structural Crises of Adjustment, Business Cycles and Investment Behaviour." In: Dosi. G., C. Freeman, R. Nelson, G. Silverberg. and L.L.G. Soete, eds.: Technical Change and Economic Theory. London: Frances Pinter, 1988;  pp. 38-61. See also Schumpeter, J.A.: Konjunkturzyklen - Eine theoretische, historische und statistische Analyse des kapitalistischen Prozesses, Bd. I, (orig. engl.: New York / London 1939), Göttingen 1961; Schumpeter, J.A.: Kapitalismus, Sozialismus, Demokratie, (orig. engl.: 1942) Bern 1950)
(2) ifeu Institut für Energie und Umweltforschung Heidelberg GmbH: Umbrela – Umweltbilanz Elektromobilität, Wissenschaftlicher Grundlagenbericht gefördert durch das Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (BMU), Heidelberg 2011
(3) European Commission: Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050, EU COM 112, Brussels, March 2011
(4) Bundesministerium fürWirtschaft und Technologie (BMWi), Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (BMU): Energiekonzept für eine umweltschonende, zuverlässige und bezahlbare Energieversorgung, 28. September 2010, Berlin
(5) Fournier, G., Würzer, D., Seign, R., Hinderer, H.: Der Weg zur emissionsfreien Mobilität. Strategien der Hersteller im internationalen Vergleich,  in: Proff, H./Schönharting, J./Schramm, D./Ziegler, J. (Hrsg.): Zukünftige Entwicklungen in der Mobilität – Betriebswirtschaftliche und technische Aspekte, Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden 2012, S. 405-423.

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