Automotive

2023 will see continued enterprise focus on ESG initiatives, but won’t see an EV revolution

19th January 2023
Harry Fowle

ABI Research’s third annual trend report identifies the two key sustainable technologies trends that will deliver—and the two that won’t—in 2023

As 2023 kicks off, predictions abound on the technology innovations expected in the year ahead. In its new whitepaper, ‘74 Technology Trends That Will—and Will Not—Shape 2023’, analysts from global technology intelligence firm ABI Research identify 41 trends that will shape the technology market and 33 others that, although attracting vast amounts of speculation and commentary, are less likely to move the needle over the next twelve months. In the sustainable technologies space, companies will continue to focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives despite political pushback. Meanwhile, the rapid rollout of EVs will not happen in 2023.

“War, inflation, political upheaval, energy shortages, and the ongoing fallout from a global pandemic are still creating a persistent sense of uncertainty. Labour shortages, supply chain issues, falling consumer sentiment, and rising input costs are squeezing many markets. However, the common aspect between all of these is that technology can either be the anchor dragging down operations or the mainsail powering companies forward. The devil is in the detail of the how, who, what, and when of technology investment and implementation. This whitepaper serves as a helpful blueprint for building realistic expectations of key technology markets and verticals,” says Stuart Carlaw, Chief Research Officer at ABI Research.

What will happen in 2023:

Companies will continue to focus on ESG initiatives, despite political pushback

Companies will continue to listen to stakeholders, including customers, partners, employees, and investors when addressing ESG initiatives rather than engaging in political culture wars. In 2022, the United States witnessed a scuffle between conservative states and Wall Street, addressing the use of investor funds for potentially choosing sides in the debate over energy policy and climate change response. While companies in a limited number of states may experience modification of ESG communication strategies or may tone down certain alliances, a politically led, global shunning of ESG-related investing is not expected.

What won’t happen in 2023:

Rapid rollout of EVs will not happen until challenges to widespread adoption are met

The rollout of EVs is increasing. Still, the deployment schedule has not exactly been an EV revolution, as countries, regional governments, and cities aim to achieve climate targets and transition away from ICE vehicles. Why will mass adoption not happen in 2023? The capital cost of EVs has historically been a significant barrier in purchasing decisions for electric cars and trucks. Inflation and high-interest rates will further inhibit new vehicle sales. EVs are more costly for manufacturers, and those costs are passed on to the consumer. However, as the cost of batteries continues to fall, the debate will shift to other challenges in adoption, such as the required infrastructure for charging, the customer experience of EV charging (i.e., customers will demand more charging locations and faster charging experiences), and the raw materials required to fully scale widespread adoptions of EVs.

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