Sorry, I cannot find your actual name anywhere on the blog (other then “lead-dog” or “Innovation-Catalyst”). So, I’ll just start with “Hello!”
Frankly speaking, I was waiting for your Part II hoping you would develop the promissing statement you made in Part I: “…we have a problem because ICEs ARE DAMNED INEFFICIENT”.
Today’s dilemma is similar to the one we had 20 years ago, when computers were manufactured by a few large companies, like IBM, Toshiba, Yamaha and a few others. Then, the major breakthrough happened – open PC architecture – that defined open rules for thousands of innovative companies to participate by doing better hard drives, memory chips, cooling systems, cases, wires, power systems, sound and wireless cards, and so on.
Can you imagine a large corporate meeting, where the desicion about the future computer model cooking? It’s sounds redicilous today! We make this decisions for ourselves – I have 5 computers at home and my Media Center is drastically different from my “Kitchenputer” (Touchscreen on a wall).
Nevertheless, this is exactly how auto manufactures are still working today. They sketch the new model, do market research, then go to suppliers – so inefficient! (and costly to us – customers).
When I open the hood of my Pathfinder (sorry, I need 3 rows of seats ;-) – there are so many wires, tubes, connectors – that it becomes obvious that only a large company like NISSAN can actually make something like that.
But think about the electric car for a minute. That is as simple as a PC: motors are located inside wheels (PML Flightlink), wires from the wheels go to a central computer/power management (AC Propulsion) and connected to baterries (lot’s of options). Shell can be done from carbon and come in different configurations in a box. And the whole car can be easily assembled by a small auto shop – like computers are done today directly by small shops.
This will result in the largest revolution in manufacturing – custom built vehicles, with tens of thousands of competitors who will innovate on every aspect of the car – from engines to mirrors!
The result – cheap, efficient and great looking cars. Now, we are talking about innovation!
Great idea except for one thing: The automakers have been getting patents for many years and will unleash a torrent of patent infringement litigation against the start-ups, whether or not the patent is valid.