A few days ago, a good friend of mine pointed me toward a presentation on disruptive technologies given by Tony Seba. A youtube video is available here:
The entire video is worth watching, but today I will restrict myself to the issues he raises relating to battery technology.
Seba stresses that technological change in the transport sector could happen at breakneck speed. With a pair of compelling photos of early-last-century New York, we are asked to remember that a grand disruption in transport has happened before. In the first photo, dating from April 1900, we play a game of spot the car (click for larger image).
In the second, a mere 13 years later, the challenge is to spot the horse.
The lesson here is that once a disruptive technology reaches a particular tipping point, it doesn’t just take market share from the incumbent industry but rather completely replaces it. For Seba, we are close to reaching that point with electric vehicles.