Contrary to popular understanding, people have been making money out of electric vehicles for over 110 years. Unfortunately there have also been bankruptcies in the electric vehicle business in most of those years.
The primary difference lies in market positioning not brilliant inventions, working long hours, automation of production, matching the size of your operation to the amount of business you can realistically gain – avoiding over and under-investment - and other aspects that come to mind. Those are sometimes important but always secondary. In market positioning, the two key factors are avoiding excessive competition, including rigged markets, and making what will be wanted in the years to come. For example, the leaders in pure electric indoor forklifts make good money and now that outdoor hybrid forklifts are the growth sector, others are seeking to lead in them, rather than focussing on the saturated market. The acid test is to ask, “What am I doing, that customers will want and can afford, that others either cannot or do not offer?”
For example, an increasing number of car manufacturers make their own batteries and electric motors. Those seeking to supply these are increasingly competing with their customers unless they appraise the whole market for electric vehicles by land, water and air and focus on what is appropriate for them. Newcomers are usually surprised at the size and number of niche opportunities.
By Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman, IDTechEx