June 1, 2013

WHEN ECONOMIES OF SCALE SET IN:

Are We at the Electric Car's Tipping Point? : Tesla's making money, sales have doubled, and prices for plug-ins and hybrids are coming down in a big way. Daniel Gross on what may be the green market's Model T moment. (Daniel Gross, 6/01/13, Daily Beast)

"I would build a motorcar for the great multitude."

That's what Henry Ford proclaimed early in his career. Ford, of course, is associated with the democratization of the automobile--the Model T was the first mass-owned car. But Ford started off as a luxury-car maker, making high-tech, impractical, very expensive vehicles for the very rich.

That's how it often goes when new technologies hit the market--they're produced in small batches at a high cost. But as the companies increase production, as unit volumes rise, and as competitors enter the field and innovate further, the cost of the products falls, and falls, and falls again--to the point where the middle class can afford them. That's what happened with the telephone, the car, the television, the personal computer, the mobile phone. A century after the Model T took the nation by storm, could the same process be happening with electric cars?

Posted by at June 1, 2013 9:46 AM
  

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