As a follow up to yesterday‘s piece, I am copying Automotive News’ editorial from last week.  This article points out that 2016 was the year of the EV and asks:

“What changed?

“It’s a move that is driven primarily by the customer,” Speth told us. “Customers see this type of vehicle as cool and sexy, especially younger customers”

As a former auto dealer I have always held for the vast majority of consumers, buying a car, whether new or used, is not a rational decision. It’s primarily emotional.  Most people don’t NEED a new (or new previously owned) car or light duty truck.  The old one usually works just fine and will get them to where they need to go reliably and in the same amount of time as a new one.  But people rationalize the decision to buy the second most expensive item they own after their home that sits idle 95% of the time.  

People want what they want and will spend tons of money to have it. Take the new Tesla Model 3 that was announced last year.  Practically overnight Tesla took about 400,000 deposits for $1,000 ($400,000,000) just to get on a waiting list for a car that most people won’t receive until two years later in 2018.  

Now THAT is something that other auto manufactures notice!!!  The cool factor is in affect.  And that is why, in the not to distant future, if someone buys an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle they will be viewed as “NOT COOL”.  This is actually already beginning to happen.  

And this will be the true tipping point when ICE’s will sit on the lot rotting while the EV’s fly out the door.  Then watch how quickly production changes.  

Follow the money $$$$$$$.  Consumers rule.


Compelling EVs Show What the Industry Can Do

January 9, 2017

A year ago electric vehicles looked like a lost cause.

Who needed or wanted battery electrics in an era of low gasoline prices? Throw in price aversion, range anxiety and a charging infrastructure that is spotty at best. The dream had died.

So why, amid all the energy and attention given autonomous vehicles, was 2016 the year of the EV?

It actually began in December 2015 when Ford said it would spend $4.5 billion to develop 13 hybrids or EVs by 2020. Then at the 2016 CES, Chevy’s Bolt EV, with its 238 miles of range, and Volkswagen’s BUDD-e concept were stars.

The Bolt played a big role in the resurgence, but General Motors is not the only automaker to revamp and revitalize EV efforts. VW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Toyota (with Akio Toyoda in direct control of EV operations) all threw down the gauntlet in 2016.

And consider Jaguar Land Rover. In late 2015, CEO Ralf Speth expressed zero interest in a full-electric. Yet in November in Los Angeles, Jaguar debuted a concept for its battery-powered I-Pace crossover, which goes on sale in 2018.

What changed?

“It’s a move that is driven primarily by the customer,” Speth told us. “Customers see this type of vehicle as cool and sexy, especially younger customers who … are not as interested in the sound of the engine and things like that. They are far more open to accept new propulsion systems.”

VW’s diesel scandal contributed, but for a new generation of car buyers around the world EVs are cool, not counterintuitive.

Carmakers now get that — to their great credit. The industry is often knocked for failing to look ahead, but consider what has been accomplished. It’s an effort measured in stages, starting 20 years ago when Toyota’s Prius hybrid went on sale in Japan.

We’ve progressed from hybrids to plug-in hybrids to short-range all-electrics to EVs with ample range. And this month feels like another milestone. Ford says it will electrify two icons: the Mustang and F-150. Fiat Chrysler and VW — once epitomes of the “electric skeptic” — unveiled electrified van concepts.

Yes, the new efforts have much to do with zero-emission and fuel economy mandates. But automakers responded to the challenge with a blitz of innovation — and that has been the key.

As pure vehicles — judged in the marketplace — EVs are now viable, attractive and compelling. In fact, the only thing missing is the customers.

Yet even in this low fuel price environment, their core value proposition remains. Supercharging and new batteries have reduced range anxiety, and broader use of electrification has brought down prices. We believe these trends will continue.

Electrification has become a showcase of what the auto industry can do when motivated.

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