Using the sudden dawn of the smartphone era as an example, Y Combinator founder Geoff Ralston opines that the electric car will soon take over the world, reaching a tipping point where everyone will want one. Much like how the iPhone changed everything with its arrival, Geoff believes Tesla's electric cars will equally transform our society.
These predictions are so wrong because they misunderstand the pertinent forcing function. Their assumption is that electric car sales will slowly increase as the technology gets marginally better, and as more and more customers choose to forsake a better product (the gasoline car) for a worse, yet “greener” version. This view of the future is, simply, wrong. The reason electric cars will take over our roads is because consumers will DEMAND them. Electric cars will be better than any alternative, including the loud, inconvenient, gas-powered jalopy. The iPhone demonstrated that smartphones are infinitely better than the feature phones which dominated the world in 2007. The Tesla Model S has demonstrated that a well made, well designed electric car is far superior to anything else on the road. This has changed everything.
Rising demand for electricity to charge vehicles may be a problem, but Tesla's chief technology officer, JB Straubel, argues that with battery costs decreasing, paired with cheap solar panels, will mean an abundant flow of energy.
Whether Tesla will play a key role in slashing the cost of energy storage will remain to be seen. The company certainly believes it will be an important player in influencing not only the grid energy storage market but also the electric car market. Electric car batteries can double as grid energy storage equipment when the cars are parked at home or work and connected to the grid through charging equipment.
“Even with a relatively small fleet of cars today, around 60,00 cars in the world, (Tesla’s cars make up) about 5 gigawatt-hours of energy storage connected to the grid,” Straubel said. “It’s not going to be many years before Tesla will have a million cars, or 70 gigawatt-hours of storage.”
|Everything You Need for Testing DNA, In 1 Hour, in Less Than Half the Size of a Business Card|
|Fallout Shelters for a New Generation|
|"Paid work for human beings could become a lot scarcer -- and soon."|
|A Self-Driving Truck that Completely Lacks the Whole Cab|
|“The aftermath of the Industrial Revolution involved two major Communist revolutions, whose death toll approaches 100 million.”|
|3D Printed $10,000 House|
|“Facebook played a 'determining role' in stirring up hatred against Rohingya Muslims.”|
|“The Pentagon’s relatively quiet tip-toe into converting the U.S. Armed Forces to a machine-majority force.”|
|Future Horizon's Plasma Lightsabers|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“New green policies so hard-hitting and extensive they can be felt across the world.”|
|“Clearly, no one is going to build weapons that have sufficient general intelligence to, for example, decide and execute a plan to take over the world.”|
|“Contains all the same components as cow’s milk, [...] but doesn’t use any animals in its production process.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“Amazon Paid No Federal Taxes In 2017.”|
|“Traditional path to economic growth may close to all but a handful of developing countries.”|