EV battery day…really?

Sep 30, 2020

Who ever thought that a day would be given to the introspective topic that is battery chemistry and pricing ? Who thought there was an audience for that ? It’s not quite Black Friday is it ? But then every year (except this year of-course) thousands of the faithful pitch up at Cupertino to listen to the pronouncements of another Californian 800lb gorilla discussing chip design, processing speed and manufacturing techniques. The reward, for Tesla, in this instance was a drop in valuation, thanks very much. As for Apple who knows why they do it with their brand equity alone allegedly comparable to a medium sized country GDP although that depends on which indices you believe, if any.  

Our relationship with technology is closer than ever and since the term cyborg was first coined in the early 1960’s we continue to enthusiastically examine new ways in which we can absorb and consume personal  technology. Whilst we apparently we seek an effortless, seamless relationship with our tech the one thing we can’t resist doing is talking about it…. a lot. We love the idea that our smart device knows our desires at an almost sub conscious level yet at the same time like a watch maker we cannot resist taking it all apart every now and then and showing everyone how it works.  

 

The consumer technology sector has a long and guilty history of drinking its own champagne thus overlooking a fundamental marketing principle. We product people, marketing people, project people and so on are not the customers and this goes someway to explaining the introspective bias that takes hold. Ok so Tesla need to speak to the investment community, regulators and others but battery tech for regular drivers? Really? Range and range anxiety specifically is one issue at the forefront of most drivers minds and credit to Tesla for pulling the Model Y standard range as it simply couldn’t hit the expected norm. Ironically though this issue is generally solved so why are we not conveying this to potential drivers in a way they understand? The second issue is cost and whilst Tesla can demonstrate great savings in projected costs this is not reflected across the industry with e-variants still disproportionately expensive. All this before drivers get anywhere near a charging network of which there are far too many to make sense. 

 

In order for EV’s to be like smart phones on wheels and to go mainstream we simply need to turn down the tech and amplify the benefits. Price will continue to be a thing but so will availability of the supporting services that are needed to help drivers get on the EV ladder in the first place. Let’s stop talking about how it all works and focus on assuring buyers that they just need to be drivers and not watchmakers. 

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