The « augmented marcket » of energy, transports et digital industries : the example of the extended electric mobility operators

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2015)


analyse structurale, Décisions d’investissement stratégiques, Economie appliquée, Innovation intersectorielle, relations interindustrielles


Reading the financial press can cloud the contemporary industrial economist. Here are some troubling stylized facts that we can quote. First of all, in the digital industries, the infomediary Google launched - in 2010 - a subsidiary called Google Energy that allows him to become an electricity provider. Simultaneously, Google deployed his activities in projects related to charging point networks for electric vehicles. In the electric and energy industries, the major operators prepare commercial offers based on the concept of "smart grid", causing that electricity consumers, occasionally, become producers of electricity. This electricity has previously been stored in stationary batteries or in the battery of their own electric vehicle (V2G and V2H). Consumption peaks are then absorbed through the organization of intelligent networks with dynamic allocation of roles to the actors of the whole network. In the area of transport networks, some large operators (such as Veolia in France) design commercial offers leveraging information and communication technologies (RFID, NFC) to allow access to all local public services deliveries provided by the public delegator (swimming pool, school, canteens, school transport, public transport, sports hall, etc.).

These significant changes in the digital, energy and transports industries question the dominant logic of quasi-vertical integration, or “compartmentalization”, which prevailed until today within each of these industries. Indeed, while in the twentieth century, these three major sectors were vertically organized, it seems that new strategies, capitalizing on the principle of sectoral “decompartmentalization” are implemented by many existing manufacturers or by new operators.

Conceptually, we must assess the relevance of the tools of economics for understanding the industrial reality of a change in the nature of activities and, if necessary, consider creating new concepts. The concept of "augmented market", which marks the transition from a quasi-vertical integration to quasi- diagonal integration or cross-sectoral, should capture the strategic investment decisions in the private industrial groups, not in reference to the portfolio management model of activities (usual practice of large consulting firms, such as Boston Consulting Group), but with reference to the "augmented" scope of the market, that is to say the market as it reconfigures itself by sharing infrastructure networks supporting services provided in the field of the digital, energy and transports industries.

We will apply this analysis to the case of extended mobility operators which manage interactions between an EV fleet and the electric power grid.

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