Some Members of the Auto Industry Are Still Clueless About Electric Vehicles

Mobility

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

Yeah, big shocker, right? Even though this cluelessness is hardly new information, it is still fascinating to see it when it presents itself. I recently had an exchange with said cluelessness in the comments section of a LinkedIn post. I know, I know, online comment sections are a vacuum for the egomaniacally ill-informed. I try my darndest not to engage in such fruitless exercise as I try to deprogram the disillusioned, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I feel it is my duty as an ambassador of the rEVolution.

The post that sparked this exchange was about Massachusetts requiring all new cars sold to be electric by 2035. A lot of the comments were in support of the measure, but it didn’t take long for the ill-informed to chime in with the bellows of government overreach, EV inadequacies, and climate change denial. Below is an exchange I had with two such individuals, both of whom appear to be members of the incumbent automobile industry’s dealership apparatus.

The first individual I shall refer to as “Clueless Industry Guy”. His stated title on LinkedIn is “DEALERSHIP COMPLIANCE | INCOME DEVELOPEMENT | TRAINING.” He does not seem privy to the S-curve adoption model that comes with disruptive technology. Or perhaps he has not yet realized that the S-curve model can apply to the automobile industry, and that it is in fact in the initial stages of its exponential climb.

Clueless Industry Guy: 

“Seems like a fantasy to me considering minimal demand for electric vehicles.”

Me:

“minimal demand?”

Clueless Industry Guy: 

“Compared to 14–17 million new car registrations. Minimal is not the right word. Almost non-existent is more accurate.”

Me: 

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (Vlad Tchompalov)

“With Tesla’s exponential year-over-year adoption rate, the EV ‘fantasy’ is becoming a reality at an accelerated rate. Tesla is the fastest growing, and most valuable, auto manufacturer in history. The Model 3 had over 400k 1.000 dollars preorders for it — an unprecedented level of demand that the rest auto industry had never even come close to seeing. As the graph I posted shows, that is translating to unprecedented production demand. It is estimated that the Cybertruck has somewhere around one million — I repeat, one MILLION —preorders. No vehicle has ever even come remotely close to that preorder number. And those preorders will most certainly translate to production sales … which will then garner even more demand as more and more consumers experience it. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the EV empire is growing; and growing fast.”

Clueless Industry Guy : 

“I agree. Tesla is a cult.”

Me: 

“Just like the iPhone, and we have seen how that turned out.”

Clueless Industry Guy : 

“love your optimism!”

Dismissing Tesla as cult, with all the connotations that come with it, is a common response from industry critics. Not only do they disregard the electric vehicle revolution as a trivial passing fad like bell-bottom jeans or the “Gangnam Style” YouTube craze, but they go as far as to call it a cult; its believers naïve and its fate doomed.

To them, Tesla is the automotive equivalent to Jamestown. A cult is a group, usually led by a charismatic leader, with a devotion to an idea that is usually predicated on lies. Tesla is not a cult. Tesla is helmed by a charismatic leader, Elon Musk, but he is no charlatan, and the companies he leads are not scams. Quite the contrary. Musk is a visionary leader (arguably the most profound visionary of our time), and the companies he leads make extraordinary products — in this case, Tesla’s truly extraordinary vehicles.

Tesla’s vehicles are not extraordinary as a matter of opinion, but extraordinary by being quantifiably superior in the metrics that one uses to measure what makes a great car — performance, safety, efficiency, technology, connectivity, cost (and ease) of ownership, etc. Tesla is the bonafide leader in all of those. These superlatives translate to a fanatical customer love/loyalty that any other company in the world could only dream of having. Tesla’s success is not predicated on intangible cult delusion, it is predicated on building amazing products that people love. Ask any Tesla owner, or spend some time in a Tesla yourself, and you’ll start to understand why this company garners so much adoration.

The dismissive viewpoint of the “Clueless Industry Guys” appear to come from their dogmatic complacency, which feeds their industry/technological ignorance, which then feeds their inability to make inference. It’s the same blasé complacency that telecom giants like Ericsson, Nokia, and Blackberry took towards Apple when Apple had the audacity to dare enter the cellphone market that these established titans had a seemingly unshakable grip on.

When and what will it take for the “Clueless Industry Guys” to finally realize the folly of their flawed logic? Will they come to the realization before their brand’s extinction is imminent? Time will tell. And for those in the automobile industry who remain clueless, that time is quickly running out.

Source: Clean Technica