The Mega Trend of Electromobility

Driven primarily by the Asian passenger car markets, especially China, the existing value creation and employment structures in the automotive industry stand before a great challenge.


Classic components like the combustion engine are declining in importance while new electrified components are gaining. For the automobile cluster in Baden-Württemberg, it’s important to accept this transformation as an opportunity and help shape it.


While the amount of passenger cars worldwide has reached more than 1-billion vehicles, the share of electric vehicles is also growing rapidly, with more than 5.5 million e-vehicles already in 2018. China, as the leading market, is hoping to achieve more than 5 million e-vehicles by 2020 and has already reached 50% of this goal. If past sales numbers continue to be recorded exponentially, then practically nothing stands in the way of reaching this goal.


Although China is leading the market in absolute numbers, its relative market share is just under 5%. In Norway, almost every other new registration was an electric car in 2018. By 2025, the market share is expected to increase to 100%, with no more registration of purely combustible engine vehicles. In the Netherlands, they strive to achieve this goal by 2030, with a present share of 5.2%.


New automobile manufacturers are especially competing for this growing interest in driving electrically. Of the ten largest manufacturers of electric vehicles, half of them are Chinese. The market leader is the American pioneer Tesla, which moved to the top and superseded BYD with the production of the Model 3 in 2018. The largest German manufacturer is BMW with the models 530e and i3.  


The Structural Study BWe mobil 2019 analyzed the automotive business hub Baden-Württemberg. Altogether 480,000 employees in the automobile cluster were identified, with 310,000 working as part of the value creation core (final manufacturers, components & parts suppliers, as well as development & contracted work). In a second step, it was examined how many employees are affected by a transformation to electric mobility. Here, two scenarios were created in order to obtain both a conservative and progressive picture of market development for 2030, which serve as a starting point for the analysis of how many employees are affected.   


For the conservative scenario, positive and negative employment effects almost completely cancel each other out by 2030 in the entire industry. In contrast, in the progressive scenario, the number of employees affected amounts to 34,000, which is mostly the result of the elimination of combustion engine components. With a view to the power-train-dependent production plants, almost every other employee is affected (46%).  


The positive news now comes from the conservative scenario with constant employment; however, no premature transformation to electromobility can lead to many more serious effects in the years following 2030. Chinese automobile manufactures especially are hoping for significant market growth in the passenger car segment, which itself will hardly be slowed by strong German electromobility offensives.


Accordingly, the structural transformation of the Baden-Württemberg automobile cluster stands before an enormous challenge – a challenge, however, that can be seen as an opportunity if it is actively shaped.