We permit the publication of our auditors’ report, provided the report is published in full only and is accompanied by the full financial statements to which our auditors’ report relates, and is only published on an access-controlled page on your website, to enable users to verify that an auditors’ report by independent accountants has been commissioned by the directors and issued. Such permission to publish is given by us without accepting or assuming any responsibility or liability to any third party users save where we have agreed terms with them in writing.

Our consent is given on condition that before any third party accesses our auditors’ report via the webpage they first document their agreement to the following terms of access to our report via a click-through webpage with an 'I accept' button. The terms to be included on your website are as follows:

I accept and agree for and on behalf of myself and the Trust I represent (each a "recipient") that:

  1. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“PwC”) accepts no liability (including liability for negligence) to each recipient in relation to PwC’s report. The report is provided to each recipient for information purposes only. If a recipient relies on PwC’s report, it does so entirely at its own risk;
  2. No recipient will bring a claim against PwC which relates to the access to the report by a recipient;
  3. Neither PwC’s report, nor information obtained from it, may be made available to anyone else without PwC’s prior written consent, except where required by law or regulation; and
  4. PwC’s report was prepared with Hermes Property Unit Trust's interests in mind. It was not prepared with any recipient's interests in mind or for its use. PwC’s report is not a substitute for any enquiries that a recipient should make. The financial statements are as at 25 March 2017, and thus PwC’s auditors’ report is based on historical information. Any projection of such information or PwC’s opinion thereon to future periods is subject to the risk that changes may occur after the reports are issued and the description of controls may no longer accurately portray the system of internal control. For these reasons, such projection of information to future periods would be inappropriate.
  5. PwC will be entitled to the benefit of and to enforce these terms.
I accept

1. Select your country

  • United Kingdom
  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • USA
  • Other

2. Select your investor type

  • Financial Advisor
  • Discretionary Investment Manager
  • Wealth Manager
  • Family Office
  • Institutional Investor
  • Investment Consultant
  • Charity, Foundation & Endowment Investor
  • Retail Investor
  • Press
  • None of the above

3. Accept our terms and conditions

By clicking Proceed I confirm I have read the important information and agree to the terms of use.


The Hermes Investment Management website uses cookies to remember your preferences and help us improve the site.
By proceeding, you agree to cookies being placed on your computer.
Read our privacy and cookie policy.

Future mobility: a new direction of travel

Home / Press Centre / Future mobility: a new direction of travel

Tim Crockford, Lead Manager
06 June 2018

As the threat of climate change grows, the race is on to power low-carbon economies through energy efficiency, innovation and infrastructure. At the core of this drive toward sustainability is the engineering of future mobility. In the following insight, Tim Crockford, Portfolio Manager of the Hermes Impact Opportunities Fund, identifies four key areas of innovation in future mobility creating a sustainable direction of travel for transport and long-term investment opportunities.

Rapid urbanisation, decaying infrastructure, population growth and the effects of climate change continue to challenge our world’s cities. While government must play its part in addressing the problems we face by providing much-needed resources, we are now seeing public markets awaken to the innovative role they can play in creating more efficient and resilient low-carbon economies.

The sheer scale of public markets makes them powerful agents of change in generating a positive impact on society and the environment. At the forefront of impact investing, is the philosophy of moving beyond traditional screening methods to capture those companies that are the sustainable leaders of tomorrow. This is the process of driving long-term portfolio returns by unearthing purposeful companies with innovative solutions to meet society’s needs.

This provides investors with the ultimate active edge: finding systematically undervalued companies that create long-term solutions to the challenges societies face. As part of our investment process, we align each of our investments with eight key impact themes – one of which is future mobility. This theme illustrates where sustainability trends in transport are unearthing compelling impact opportunities through efficiency, safety and intelligent technology.

Green machines
With 25% of CO2 emissions produced by transport and the health implications of diesel fuel becoming broadly understood only in the last few years, vehicular decarbonisation is one of the clearest opportunities to reduce our carbon count.

Electric vehicles (EVs) now offer a viable alternative to those powered by either petrol or diesel. The cost of lithium-ion batteries used to fuel these vehicles has dropped 65% since 2010. This is set to fall further, dropping below $100kwh in the next decade. Lower battery costs should help drive EV usage to about 700gwh by 2030, enabling EVs to help prevent further climate change and air pollution.[1]

To access this theme, we invest in Umicore. The company produces cathode material, a critical component for EV batteries. However, it also manufactures emissions control technologies, which help reduce the environmental impact of internal-combustion engines. It is this dual-impact of Umicore, combined with strong financials reflected in 15% profit growth year-on-year in 2017, which makes the company particularly attractive as an impact opportunity.

Smart cars
Making vehicles more intelligent can unlock new efficiencies and enhance safety. Core to realising these objectives is in sensor usage. Sensors can improve powertrain and engine management, including oil and petrol-tank pressure, throttle and torque, which contribute to a lower aggregate fuel requirement. The social benefit of sensor technology comes through improvements to vehicle safety, achieved by employing dynamic braking, side airbags and rollover sensors.

To capitalise on this opportunity, we invest in Valeo, which manufactures sensors related to safety and vehicle comfort. These include ultrasonic sensors, radars and cameras that can detect obstacles; rain, light and humidity sensors that can, for example, prompt the car to switch headlights on; and finally, blind-spot sensors, that reduce risks during parking and turning manoeuvres.

Sharing the burden
By 2040, shared mobility is expected to account for about 80% of miles driven in the US.[2] This explosive forecasted growth underlines the potential of this theme to transform lives.

The primary long-term drivers for innovation in shared mobility are urbanisation and the need for environmentally-friendly transport, as well as flexibility for the consumer and lower costs than those associated with car ownership.

We believe an exponential rise in vehicle sharing will reshape cities. With fewer private vehicles, land currently used for parking will be available for other uses, such as housing. Furthermore, a reduction in vehicles on the road reduces the environmental impact of transportation.

Shared mobility also plays into the rise of EVs. For example, in China, 95% of the estimated 30,000 shared vehicles currently in operation are either electric or plug-in hybrid cars.[3]

Accelerating change
Technology is accelerating the development of connected vehicles, enabling them to understand their global position and communicate with the surrounding environment.

From a safety perspective, improved technology has enabled systems to provide live information about road, traffic and weather conditions helping drivers anticipate risks and consequently preventing accidents.

Perhaps most notably, innovative technology is also fuelling the development of autonomous driving. In this brave new world, technological innovation will be key in avoiding accidents and preventing passenger and pedestrian injuries as semiconductors and sensors replace eyes and ears.

We invest in both technology and shared mobility through German systems manufacturer Hella. The company develops smart lighting systems for vehicles, which helps them to process and communicate information, thereby improving safety and reducing energy consumption. It also develops innovative camera and radar products, helping to increase the safety of autonomous vehicles.

The multiple sources of innovation driving shared mobility has created a rich seam of companies succeeding in their core purpose: to generate value by creating positive and sustainable change.  These impactful businesses are directly exposed to sources of enduring demand by meeting society’s unmet needs – and we believe will be powerful agents in driving long-term investment outperformance.

[1] Source: Deloitte University Press as at 2018

[2] Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance as at 2018

[3] Source: Car sharing business: Development trends, business models and solutions

Share this post:
Tim Crockford Lead Manager Tim Crockford joined Hermes in 2009 as a research analyst for the European Equities team covering the resources, oil & gas, agricultural chemicals, capital goods and the technology sector. He became lead portfolio manager of the Hermes Europe ex-UK Equity Fund in 2015 and joined Andrew Parry in forming the Impact team in August 2016, which launched the Hermes Impact Opportunities Fund at the start of 2018, which Tim also manages. Prior to joining Hermes, Tim worked at Execution Limited from July 2006 as a primary research analyst working on major projects in the consumer, retail and financial services sectors, and then joined Sourcecap as an analyst in May 2008. Tim was raised and educated in Malta and graduated from the University of Malta in 2006 with a Bachelor of Accountancy (Hons) degree, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce degree. In 2016, Tim featured in Financial News’s ‘40 Under 40 Rising Stars of Asset Management’, an editorial selection of the brightest up-and-coming men and women in the industry.
Read all articles by Tim Crockford

Find posts by author

  • Alex Knox, ACA
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Andrew Parry
  • Claire Gavini
  • Dr Michael Viehs
  • Emeric Chenebaux
  • Eoin Murray
  • Geoffrey Wan, CFA
  • Harriet Steel
  • Ilana Elbim
  • Jonathan Pines, CFA
  • Joseph Buckley
  • Louise Dudley
  • Mark Sherlock, CFA
  • Martin Todd
  • Maxime Le Floch, CFA
  • Michael Russell, CFA
  • Michael Vaughan
  • Neil Williams
  • Nick Spooner
  • Nina Röhrbein
  • Peter Hofbauer
  • Philip Nell
  • Saker Nusseibeh
  • Silvia Dall’Angelo
  • Tatiana Bosteels
  • Tim Crockford
  • Tommaso Mancuso
  • Yasmin Chowdhury

Find posts by category

  • impact

Press contacts