What would you say if we told you EVs and ICE cars will have similar prices by 2023? And if we told you that the only cars available from 2026 on will be EVs? Surely hard to believe even for the most enthusiastic fans of electric cars, but this is what Ray Wills, from Future Smart Strategies, has recently told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Wills’ business is detailed in this presentation from his company to the Australian Senate as follows:
“Future Smart Strategies offer strategic advice on business-to-business relations, business innovation, advocacy, and sustainability. We bring evidence-based advice on a wide range of market, policy and regulatory issues for commercial entities and not-for-profit organisations interested in minimising risk and maximising reputation.
Our high level and strategic business advisory services help create new partnerships through our extensive business networks across diverse business sectors including the education, energy, resources, construction, health, hospitality, ICT and software, infrastructure, training and transport sectors.
Our trusted and highly regarded professional, results-focused approach has delivered many positive commercial outcomes for clients, helping to build new business-to-business partnerships and better relationships with external stakeholders.”
The executive is pretty aware that being right is essential to his company’s reputation and to his own, as he told the Australian newspaper: “Nobody will ever be exactly right. But I have been labeled as a futurist and the art of a futurist is to be the least wrong.”
Will tries to support his predictions by checking what EVs have done to hybrid cars. According to the Future Smart Strategies managing director, 1.5 million hybrids have been sold annually in the last decade, while more EVs than that have been sold in 2018 alone. “When you see a disrupted market, it’s the thing that has the momentum that rules the day,” he told the newspaper.
His interview there is long and worth reading, but Future Smart Strategies is very engaged with the EV cause. But there is something on its website that really concerned us.
“Whoever controls the media controls the mind” is a very dangerous thing to say even with the best intentions. It gives us the impression that Future Smart Strategies thinks it is better to influence in order to get what you want than to simply assess the facts and try to predict things based on them.
Instead of believing EV and combustion-engined cars will have price parity by 2023, you can make people think that this will happen so that they will eventually demand that.
You can also say only EVs will be available from 2026 on to make people try to anticipate that. Why would they buy a regular car at this point? How would they sell it in the future if no one will want it?
There surely is evidence that EVs are becoming more and more relevant every day. Even Toyota now knows it will have to offer EVs despite the company’s efforts to make hybrids ensure a slow, gradual and safe transition to electric mobility. But to that extent?
If Wills’s claims are evidence-based and right, Toyota’s plans just did not work to the fullest, as they never do when disruption comes to the table. If they are just wishful thinking, they will have to control the media – and the mind – to be proven correct. We'd rather the first option was the only one.