The automotive industry stands at the precipice of a monumental transformation, an era defined by the evolution of mobility. While the internal combustion engine (ICE) has faithfully propelled us for over a century, it now faces an inevitable decline. Businesses deeply rooted in the ICE value chain find themselves at a crucial juncture—pivot and adapt or succumb to the swift embrace of obsolescence. This transition extends far beyond technological advancements; it promises to disrupt livelihoods, reshape industries, and reverberate across the entire value chain.

As we gaze toward the horizon, the decades coming, a mournful lament reverberates—a requiem for the staple of business: regular service parts. The plugs, filters, engine oils, and trusted brands like NGK, Castrol, Fram, and Gud that have been the unsung heroes of countless enterprises. These components, often overlooked, have kept the automotive ecosystem humming. Yet, as electric engines step into the spotlight, these stalwarts face the spectre of redundancy.


Electric Engines: A Silent Revolution: 

Electric engines, with their elegant simplicity, herald a silence imbued with profound change. These silent powerhouses herald a future where the familiar roar of combustion engines will yield to the hushed whisper of electrons at work. In this brave new world, the orchestra of mechanical intricacies—the spark plugs that ignited our journeys, the filters that purified our machines' lifeblood, and the engine oils that earned our trust—is gradually, but inexorably, falling silent.

The Quiet Demise: 

The transformation transcends consumables; it penetrates the heart of the automotive value chain. Belts, pulleys, idlers, tensioners, electronic fuel pumps, and entire cooling systems stand on the brink of obsolescence. What once formed the industry's core now yields to the gentle hum of electric propulsion.


A Bittersweet Transition:

The bittersweet notes of change resound in factory corridors where these components were painstakingly crafted. Businesses that painstakingly produced them now confront a crossroads: adapt or wither. Workers who devoted themselves to assembling these vital elements face not only uncertainty but also the prospect of retraining and adjusting to a new era.


Disruption Across the Value Chain:

As the storm of transformation gathers momentum, the disruption extends its reach. Spare a thought for the petrol station attendants, the unsung heroes who once filled our tanks with fuel. Their families, too, are ensnared in the looming shadow of change. The convenience stores that thrived on the constant flow of fuel station customers face an uncertain future as EV owners charge their vehicles at home.


In the coming decade, the mechanics, those skilled artisans who meticulously serviced ICE vehicles will grapple with a new reality. Electric vehicles will demand fewer visits to the service bay due to their simplified design. While this newfound reliability is a boon for drivers, it poses a challenge for mechanics who have traditionally thrived on the need for regular maintenance and repairs.


The Human Toll:

This transformation exacts a heavy toll on the socioeconomic fabric. Petrol attendants, convenience store employees, mechanics, part distributors, factory workers and so many others stand to lose not just jobs, but dreams nurtured through years of hard work. Families that depended on these breadwinners face uncertainty, as industries built around ICE components dwindle.

Imagining A Post ICE world

As I arrive at work every day in a centre teeming with workshops and car specialists, I can't help but ponder how this place will appear in the comings decades. The present is a symphony of sights and sounds, an orchestra of sensory experiences. The workshops buzz with the electric energy of mechanics and welders at their craft, the air heavy with the pungent aromas of fuel and oil. It's a place where the clanging of tools and the hiss of compressed air create a cacophony that feels alive, bustling with the heartbeat of industry.


But as I walk through this thriving present, I can't escape the question of what the future holds. Will this lively hub of mechanical mastery, this sensory marvel, endure? Or will it succumb to the desolation that now looms—a place abandoned, its vibrancy extinguished, a once-bustling centre reduced to a ghost town, slowly fading into the annals of a changing world, where the echoes of its former glory are the only remnants of its once-thriving existence?


In the imagined reality of the post-ICE world, the once-thriving automotive center stands as a haunting relic of a bygone era. The workshops, once bustling with activity, now stand empty, cloaked in dust and cobwebs. Most have been boarded up, their faded signs echoing the names of part brands that have long vanished into obscurity. One or two stubbornly remain operational, their owners sitting near the entrance like Abraham at his tent, staring at the desert beyond for wayfarers who seldom arrive. The nearby service station, where queues stretched around the block at the mere hint of petrol price hikes, now stands deserted. There remains but one operational petrol pump, and one attendant, serving the rare few fuel-dependent vehicles that still tread the roads. The convenience has long since closed. The roof has fallen in. The paint has peeled from the walls, leaving a desolate landscape of forgotten dreams.


But am I wrong? Perhaps the service station has evolved into ultra-modern, wireless rechargeable hub, where electric vehicles seamlessly integrate into the fabric of everyday life. The old pumps have made way for ultra-modern wireless recharge pods, where in the space of minutes, your car battery can be fully replenished while the  you enjoy artisanal coffee and almond croissants from the convenience store-turned coffee shop alongside. The workshops are busier than ever. The mechanics now specialize in the maintenance and servicing of electric vehicles. They've embraced a new skill set, retooling their expertise for the changing automotive landscape. It's a vision of renewal, where the echoes of the past blend with the promise of a brighter, more sustainable future, like the rising sun casting its warm glow upon a once-dormant landscape.


Kodak Moment for the Automotive Industry:

Amidst this upheaval, it is crucial to recognize that every industry experiences a "Kodak moment," a pivotal juncture where adaptation or obsolescence looms. The automotive sector is fortunate to receive advance notice. The most progressive of nations have set 2030 as the deadline to halt new ICE engine production, meaning that ICE vehicles will continue to traverse roads for decades as the rest of the world follows suit, and as the last generation of ICE vehicles live out their design lives.


This generous notice period offers companies, and the people working in those companies, the opportunity to plan ahead and pivot. While the ICE value chain's demise is inevitable, it also serves as a crucible for innovation. Embracing electric vehicles, investing in new technologies, and reimagining business models hold the keys to thriving in the era of electric mobility.



The winds of change blow ever stronger, signifying a new epoch for the automotive industry. The internal combustion engine, once the stalwart of mobility, yields to a more sustainable future. In this transition, the automotive value chain faces its greatest test: adapting to the inexorable march of progress or succumbing to obsolescence. It is a formidable challenge, yet it presents an opportunity to forge an innovative, sustainable future—a future where the symphony of the automotive industry resonates with the harmonious rhythms of change. As the dust settles, we find in destruction the promise of renewal and in silence the potential for a new, harmonious melody—a future that inspires hope and innovation in a post-ICE world.