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It’s no secret that the world is heading in the direction of pollution-free electric vehicles with many European and Asian countries already pledging to go electric within the next 20 to 30 years. However, it’s possible that this transition could be fast-tracked by our spending habits and constant need of the latest technology.
This is still the case, despite Tesla going through its fair share of criticisms in recent months. There being dips in sales, issues with their battery providers, controversy through chief executive Elon Musk’s Twitter usage and of course, underwhelming first quarter revenue returns. All of this has caused many investors to lose faith in the company. The only question we have to ask ourselves now is, is this loss of faith justified or a premature bailout during troubled times?
Despite all the criticism involving Tesla, electric cars are still widely considered the future. But before investors or business owners planning to switch to electric could seriously consider anything to do with this so called “future,” we need to consider why electric cars are on the cusp of potentially dominating tech era.
The Changing Times
The last decade was all about the smartphone revolution, and before it was the dotcom era. Now, in 2019, it is believed the smartphone era is ending.
Therefore, we could slowly move our sights on to the next big technological advancement. Already, Uber has invested over $500 million into electric and driverless cars. Just imagine how much money ride-share companies like Uber would save annually not paying drivers.
What’s more, businesses that use many vehicles daily can also potentially save a ton of cash. This is because unlike gasoline cars, electric vehicles require less maintenance. This highlighted on Tesla’s website: “Tesla cars require no traditional oil changes, fuel filters, spark plug replacements or emission checks. As electric cars, even brake pad replacements are rare because regenerative braking returns energy to the battery, significantly reducing wear on brakes.”
In addition, our obsession for revolutionary technology, especially upgrading technology regularly, is something that can really make electric vehicles fast track from the future to present sooner than expected. It has become almost unusual for consumers to allow technology to linger around for too long nowadays.
Does this mean our obsession with constantly wanting the latest in technology transition over to our cars as well? Comparing our fascination with upgrading phones yearly might sound normal now and very different to doing it with a car. However, if I were to tell you 10 years ago, that upgrading your $1,600 phone yearly would be considered normal in 2019, you would have probably laughed. Yet, it has happened. Smartphone users replace their phones on average every 21 months, raking up over $320 billion annually on upgrading them.
The Problem of Too Much
In addition, it is not just our obsession with needing the latest and greatest. It is also the likes of Apple and Google forcing us to upgrade regularly. These companies constantly make perfectly good computers and mobile phones obsolete by ending updates for older models. Moreover, in theory, there is really nothing stopping Tesla or any electric car manufacturer from doing the same in the future.
If it does happen, it could mean constant and huge amounts of revenue for car manufacturers. As a result, there is little reason, other than of course the value of cars being significantly higher in comparison to a phone, which will stop this trend of needing the latest update in tech, eventually heading to our cars. While Tesla is moving to more mainstream prices through its Model 3 and Y vehicles, Toyota and Nissan are also developing cheaper alternatives, which will only make it easier for us to make the switch to electric.
It is always a long stretch to predict our behaviour in the future. However, if we treat electric cars in the future anything like the way we treat our other electrical appliances in 2019, then don’t be surprised if the demand for electric cars will also skyrocket like a bigger, better smartphone.
Originally published at https://www.entrepreneur.com on May 8, 2019.