The gas car staggered backwards. Unaware that he had been shot through the heart. All throughout the world, at that moment, people were happily unaware. They were posting pictures of Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s: Not knowing gas cars were mortally wounded. Even the cars themselves didn’t know. Like the bad guy in an old Western movie who doesn’t know he’s been shot. A gun is fired, time freezes, the bad guy suspects something’s wrong. He looks down, sees a gaping wound , the Good the Bad and the Ugly theme song comes on and he collapses. The end.
Gas cars are dead my friend. Hydrogen is dead: Dangerous, flammable things in your car are a thing of the past. But, unlike our protagonist, they will die a slow death. The bullet was the Tesla Model 3 but the “good” cowboy wasn’t Elon Musk. It was you. The consumer.
You killed the gasoline car. You killed the gas car and you are also responsible for the previous killing of the electric car. You and your wallet. It wasn’t he oil industry, not the “petro-politicians” in the pockets of oil companies, not General Motors, The Oil Industry, not money, not the illuminati, or the Rockefeller’s or the CIA. You, the consumer killed it: Because it you were smart enough to know it wasn’t ready. Truth be told: It was a mercy killing.
WHY WHY WHY DID YOU DO IT? The petrol car was a good man. An honest companion. He took you from A to B for years without complaint. He was a true friend. But his time came to an end. Of course fake heroes like the GM EV1 appeared on the horizon back as far as 1999 but you recognised them for the frauds they were. And didn’t buy them.
How did you know? How did you recognize an imposter? Well, like the gun slinger, you watched him from a distance. He could only go 100 miles without food or water. And he looked weak. And he looked uncool. Very uncool. So you only bought 1,100 worldwide. But oh how times change. And things that looked ridiculous suddenly are cool. Like the Model 3. Right now its sheet hot cool. And this is not a one off. This is the beginning of a whole new era. And you know it. You can smell it. Over 325,000 of you lined up to get a piece and preorder. Paying $1,000 deposit is not the same as paying full price and taking delivery but, let’s face it, every car maker on earth would love to have a launch like that. It might not be the same but it’s darn impressive. It’s most impressive because it shows that Tesla was able to awaken you to buy into his dream. No one else even came close.
Until now, an electric car was something like a Microsoft Tablet circa 1999. I know cause I bought the Microsoft tablet back in 1999. I was carrying it when I ran into Robert Mugabe at a bar in Tokyo. I was having lunch but he was drinking his. I recognised him immediately. My friends doubted but I was sure.
Taking my trusty Microsoft Tablet to his bar stool, I asked for his autograph. He waved me off but, confronting the man one on one, I can tell you this: He is one scary guy in person.
Later I read in the Japan Times that he had been in Roppongi that day begging for money from the international community. At least my tablet was almost good for something. If you happen to meet an evil dictator in a bar, bring a tablet and maybe a machete. Alas, he declined my pleadings. And I left with my tablet (clunky, almost unusable interface) never to be used again.
But you were smart enough avoid African dictators and also to wait for when tablet technology was ready, ie the iPad. Now we have the Model 3. Is it the Microsoft Tablet or is it the iPad. I’m putting my money and you put your money on it being the latter.
And it’s going to change many things: Like the politics and stability of the Middle East. And the GNP of countries like Japan, Germany, Korea, China, the USA. For better or worse, there will be huge winners and losers. Much like the shift from analog to digital. A few will get it, most will not.
Why did the Model 3 sell so well? Why do you buy cars? Many people think it’s for transportation. But I’ll tell you the real reason. Cars are sexy. There are other reasons, of course but for a significant portion of the population, sex sells cars.
That’s why we have race queens at auto races. That’s why you often see a pretty girl sitting in a nice car. Because cars, whether you like it or not, are sexy. And until now, everyone was trying to sell you convenience, range, practicality, environmentally friendly. But that’s not why people buy cars. They buy them because they are sexy.
Guys buy big trucks because they feel it will rub off on them. I bought my GTI back in university days because I thought girls would think it’s cool. I like it. It’s true. But I thought girls would like the sunroof, cool Recaro like seats. And it was the coolest thing I could afford at the time.
It might come as a shock to some that consumers buy for emotional reasons but Mad Men have known for a long time. Claude Hopkins wrote Scientific Advertising back in 1923 and it’s only gotten more so since then.
Everything has come together for electric cars. The technology of batteries, the logistics of charging, consumer acceptance of new things, the environmental movement. And most importantly, you. You came around. And you will be in the drivers seat.
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