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Sharing is the New Buying in the Collaborative Economy



Sharing is the New Buying in the Collaborative Economy

Sharing is the New Buying in the Collaborative Economy

Uber, the ride sharing app, continues to skyrocket in valuation. In August 2013, it was valued at $3.7 billion. In June 2014, it was valued at $17 billion. And today, it’s reportedly worth $40 billion, making it the world’s highest valued startup.

This is the financial impact of the new sharing economy, and investors need to take note.

What is this new collaborative economy? Technology and communication has facilitated people in finding new ways of sharing assets such as homes, cars, and vacation rentals. Even more, investments and fundraising can also be shared through crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending. Bitcoin, using the blockchain, is also peer-to-peer in the way it operates.

The benefits to consumers are obvious: lower prices, convenience, and sustainability. However, what investors need to know is that this new way of doing things can completely disrupt traditional industries. Look at the way AirBnB is disrupting hospitality, Uber is disrupting transportation, or bitcoin is disrupting the financial sector.

These are opportunities, but also threats to the status quo. For investors with money in more traditional spaces, it is worth keeping an eye on the shared economy, simply because it could make your investment obsolete.

Original graphic from: Vision Critical



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How Much Oil is in an Electric Vehicle?

It is counterintuitive, but electric vehicles are not possible without oil – these petrochemicals bring down the weight of cars to make EVs possible.



How Much Oil is in an Electric Vehicle?

When most people think about oil and natural gas, the first thing that comes to mind is the gas in the tank of their car. But there is actually much more to oil’s role, than meets the eye…

Oil, along with natural gas, has hundreds of different uses in a modern vehicle through petrochemicals.

Today’s infographic comes to us from American Fuel & Petrochemicals Manufacturers, and covers why oil is a critical material in making the EV revolution possible.

Pliable Properties

It turns out the many everyday materials we rely on from synthetic rubber to plastics to lubricants all come from petrochemicals.

The use of various polymers and plastics has several advantages for manufacturers and consumers:

  1. Lightweight
  2. Inexpensive
  3. Plentiful
  4. Easy to Shape
  5. Durable
  6. Flame Retardant

Today, plastics can make up to 50% of a vehicle’s volume but only 10% of its weight. These plastics can be as strong as steel, but light enough to save on fuel and still maintain structural integrity.

This was not always the case, as oil’s use has evolved and grown over time.

Not Your Granddaddy’s Caddy

Plastics were not always a critical material in auto manufacturing industry, but over time plastics such as polypropylene and polyurethane became indispensable in the production of cars.

Rolls Royce was one of the first car manufacturers to boast about the use of plastics in its car interior. Over time, plastics have evolved into a critical material for reducing the overall weight of vehicles, allowing for more power and conveniences.


  • 1916
    Rolls Royce uses phenol formaldehyde resin in its car interiors
  • 1941
    Henry Ford experiments with an “all-plastic” car
  • 1960
    About 20 lbs. of plastics is used in the average car
  • 1970
    Manufacturers begin using plastic for interior decorations
  • 1980
    Headlights, bumpers, fenders and tailgates become plastic
  • 2000
    Engineered polymers first appear in semi-structural parts of the vehicle
  • Present
    The average car uses over 1000 plastic parts

Electric Dreams: Petrochemicals for EV Innovation

Plastics and other materials made using petrochemicals make vehicles more efficient by reducing a vehicle’s weight, and this comes at a very reasonable cost.

For every 10% in weight reduction, the fuel economy of a car improves roughly 5% to 7%. EV’s need to achieve weight reductions because the battery packs that power them can weigh over 1000 lbs, requiring more power.

Today, plastics and polymers are used for hundreds of individual parts in an electric vehicle.

Oil and the EV Future

Oil is most known as a source of fuel, but petrochemicals also have many other useful physical properties.

In fact, petrochemicals will play a critical role in the mass adoption of electric vehicles by reducing their weight and improving their ranges and efficiency. In According to IHS Chemical, the average car will use 775 lbs of plastic by 2020.

Although it seems counterintuitive, petrochemicals derived from oil and natural gas make the major advancements by today’s EVs possible – and the continued use of petrochemicals will mean that both EVS and traditional vehicles will become even lighter, faster, and more efficient.

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The Decline of Extreme Poverty in Perspective

We look at the latest data from the World Bank, which reveals a drop in extreme poverty of 1 billion people globally since the year 1990.



The Decline of Extreme Poverty in Perspective

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

If you follow the news, the world can seem pretty grim at times.

This pessimistic view of global affairs is common. We’ve been trained by the media to believe that things are always getting worse – and not surprisingly, people extrapolate these perceptions onto issues like poverty.

One survey in the U.K. is the perfect barometer for this kind of public pessimism: in 2016 an Oxfam poll found that 87% of people thought that global poverty was staying the same or getting worse. However, the reality couldn’t be further from those perceptions.

Poverty in Perspective

The World Bank announced this week that extreme poverty is at its lowest rate in 28 years.

The current estimate is that 8.6% of the global population now lives in extreme poverty, using a measure based on a $1.90 per day wage (in 2011 PPP). The figure is adjusted using the cost of living and inflation, and it also takes into account the minimum needed for daily essentials in places where poverty is prevalent.

For comparison, in 1990, more than 1.9 billion people (36% of global population) lived below the extreme poverty line. That means more than one billion people have come out of poverty since then.

Recent Data

The preceding context is powerful, but where are we today in the fight against extreme poverty?

According to the World Bank’s latest comprehensive numbers that were just released for 2015, here is the latest data by region:

RegionPeople in poverty (2015)% of world total
World Total735.9 million100.0%
East Asia and Pacific47.2 million6.4%
Europe and Central Asia7.1 million1.0%
Latin America and Caribbean25.9 million3.5%
Middle East and North Africa18.6 million2.5%
South Asia216.4 million29.4%
Sub-Saharan Africa413.3 million56.2%

As you can see, just over 85% of the population in extreme poverty is living in the Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia regions. It’s worth noting that both of these regions are also rapidly growing in terms of population, as well.

Finally, here’s a look at recent progress during the period of 2013-2015:

RegionPoverty rate (2013)Poverty rate (2015)Change
World Total11.2%10.0%-1.2%
East Asia and Pacific3.6%2.3%-1.3%
Europe and Central Asia1.6%1.5%-0.1%
Latin America and Caribbean4.6%4.1%-0.5%
Middle East and North Africa2.6%5.0%+2.4%
South Asia16.2%12.4%-3.8%
Sub-Saharan Africa42.5%41.1%-1.4%

The one anomaly above (Middle East and North Africa) is a result of wars in Syria and Yemen – however, as you can see, the region did previously hit a low under 3%.

Overall, as the data shows, there has been progress in the fight against extreme poverty in both the long and short terms. That said, experts do warn that the rate of poverty reduction is slowing in more recent years, which will make the trend harder to keep intact.

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