Auto manufacturers are about to provide consumers with the game changing product that will transform how we create the goods and services used every day in our lives: Battery-electric powered trucks such as Tesla’s Cybertruck, GM’s Hummer EV, and the electric Ford F-150.
Products designed to be sustainable – such as battery-electric(EV) trucks – are the only way to balance the reality of living on a resource constrained planet with the continued growth in consumer demand.
We cannot stop making and using things because of resource scarcity. The global economy will cease to function and society will collapse.Instead, we have to bring to reality products that create sustained value for society rather than take value from it.
A product must check three boxes to be sustainable. First, it is produced in a manner that is not a drain on human, societal, or natural resources. Second, it is economically viable. Third, it does not harm the environment or the health of the end user. The original Hummer and it's nine miles to a gallon of gasoline was not a sustainable product. Although not perfect, electric vehicles come much closer to meeting the definition of a sustainable product.
Despite their advantages, every product marketed as sustainable – wind power, the Toyota Prius, shoes made from recycled plastic, to name a few – is a niche player in its respective market. Not one of them enjoys anything close to a dominant market position.
If we are to spur the mass adoption of sustainable products they must provide the same value as traditional goods and services at the same price, without the stigma of being relevant only for a niche audience.
Tesla’s Cybertruck, GM’s Hummer EV, and the electric FordF-150 are designed to perform just like any other pickup or SUV. GM’s Hummer will feature 1,000 horsepower and can accelerate from 0 to 60 in three seconds.The Hummer’s lead pitchman is LeBron James – a paragon of power, performance, and success.
No mega star ever pitched Nissan’s Leaf EV car and its driving range of less than 150 miles between battery recharges.
Sustainability has long been positioned as a trade-off. If you want a sustainable product you either sacrifice quality or pay more for it. That trade-off is the Achilles Heel of most sustainable products.
However, sustainability no longer is an either / or tradeoff in EV trucks – their buyers will not be forced to either accept lesser performance or pay more.
Sustainability is an “and” proposition in the EV trucks – it is integrated into these vehicles from the drawing board all the way to their performance on the road. The Tesla Cybertruck is designed and marketed as big, brawny, and powerful. And, by the way, it emits zero harmful emissions. And, even better, you will never stop at a gas station.
The EV trucks will appeal to buyers on a scale never before experienced for any product deemed as sustainable. While GM, Ford, Tesla and other manufacturers are sure to reap a financial benefit, the real winner is society.
You may have no interest in buying a battery-electric powered SUV or pickup. But tens of thousands of people who dismissed vehicles like the battery-powered Chevy Volt or the Toyota Prius hybrid will buy these trucks.
Reaching that audience not only will transform the vehicle market but, more important, it will transform all markets for sustainable products. This audience of potential EV truck buyers is akin to the“undecideds” in a political campaign – the vast middle ground of voters waiting to be persuaded to take action.
Value is what they want to see before they purchase anything.If a product is good for the environment, that is great. But it better work and it better be an upgrade over what they currently own.
More than any other sustainable product in the marketplace today the EV trucks are the ones that will break through to those consumers. The EV trucks are edgy, powerful, and attention grabbing. The trucks will redefine what a sustainable product looks like and take us beyond the failed “either /or” proposition.
That change in consumer perception will have a catalytic effect of incentivizing the creation of sustainable products across all kinds of industries. Innovators, entrepreneurs, and executives will see that massive new markets will open up if sustainability is ingrained into their products from inception and no longer treated as a trade-off. What was once the unthinkable – the Hummer becoming a symbol for sustainability – is about to become a reality. And society will reap the benefits far into the future.
Photo Credit: insideevs.com
My reflections on Transformative Markets since it was published
Markets are the one force powerful enough to spur change at the rate we need by balancing the realities of life as we know it.
The EV trucks will appeal to buyers on a scale never before experienced for any product deemed as sustainable.
Three recent developments provide executives with the justification needed to absorb short-term pain and commit to long-term sustainability.
Work on sustainable markets is taking place on a global scale.