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Electric Vehicles Lead a Revolution… and Launch a New Economy

Be ready for chaos, confusion, and opportunity!

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is upon us. Most of us think it is good as we reduce emissions and address climate change. I think it is good for another reason as well — fundamental economic change.

Wharton School of Business & Why Didn't I Think of That? Staff Writers

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Historical transformations of economies usually begin with technological disruptions in traditional industries — EVs certainly disrupt the auto industry. The disruptions lead to job losses until new jobs are created in the new industries. But what happens if those new jobs never materialize?

The current transformation to what some call “electromobility” — that is, electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous vehicles (AVs) — will be different because of ancillary transformations in robotics, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing.

Disruption of the auto industry is far more than just new assembly lines or the rise of companies with different expertise, like Tesla or Waymo. Most of the oil produced in the world goes to fuels for transportation, but we are now making vehicles that don’t burn fuel. That’s a disruption. The cars will require far more electricity — much more than the existing grid can deliver. That’s also a disruption.

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