Wall Street Journal confirms our Case for Electric Cars: A Lower Barrier to Manufacturing

January 12 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Transportation   Year: 2010   Rating: 2


The Wall Street Journal has finally reported on the real driver of change around the electrification of the world's auto fleet: Manufacturing.

Reframing the Problem
Our insights into the crossroads of energy and the future of the auto industry have reflected a very unique tone when compared to all major media outlets and bloggers.

We have been alone in pushing a few disruptive ideas about the future of energy and the auto industry:

Kill the Combustion Engine
While others focused on the problem of oil, we said it was the manufacturing legacy of the combustion engine. We have argued that it's how you build the car, not fuel it that matters most.

Skateboard chassis is Platform of the Future

While most pushed for better fuel efficiency, we argued for innovation around a new manufacturing & design platform, and revenues from 'after market' upgrades and mobility services.  The most disuptive idea for the auto industry is General Motor's skateboard chassis based on drive-by-wire, compact energy storage, and wheel based electric motors.

The Evolution of Energy Storage goes beyond Batteries
While most people believe batteries are the future (and dismiss fuel cells), we have pushed the idea that next generation vehicles will integrate batteries, fuel cells, and capacitors. Not one energy storage device will fit all the needs of electric motor systems.

Our Strategic Advice to the Auto Industry has been: reduce the number of factories by shifting to modular platforms, advance energy storage beyond batteries, focus on design and driving experience, shift profit streams from selling new cars to aftermarket sales and mobility services, innovate around the evolution of software and energy systems.

Wall Street Journal - Focus on Manufacturing
Now we have the first major business media story on electric vehicles that sees the industry's evolution in a new light.

The Wall Street Journal's Norihiko Shirouzu has written a strong front page article on China's BYD, an energy storage and electric vehicle company.  [Read: Warren Buffet BYD $233 million investment].

The conclusion? 

The Manufacturing platform matters most. Building cars around the combustion engines is too high a barrier to entry.  Electric drive trains open up a new platform for growth, and a chance for companies like BYD to enter the global market for automobiles.



Related posts on the Auto Industry at The Energy Roadmap.com

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