What to expect from #CES2017 and mobility

#CES2017 is the first show to look at to understand trends and new technologies. It’s true that Automotive uses the show to unveil prototypes and concepts often far away to market creating a sort of gap between future and reality. Referring to mobility industry the show has been a key place to talk about autonomous driving, connected cars and electric vehicles in recent years. This opening editions is showing both concrete products and services. The GONV summit gathered public institutions (mayor of Las Vegas,

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Mayor of Las Vegas and LocalMotors CEO present OLLI self driving vehicle – credits: LocalMotors

State Governor) and private industries executives  (LocalMotors, Lyft, Ehang, Hyperloop and many more)  talking about new business cases and autonomous driving deployment.

The industry is clearly showing that this technology is coming to reality and to prove so a series of test drive locations have been set up for visitors. “Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is expected to put forth a highly autonomous driving demonstration in collaboration with its automobility partners. Microsoft is currently working on an autonomous driving project in partnership with NXP Semiconductors, IAV, Esri, Swiss Re, and Cubic Telecom” (cit). Similar approach comes from French industry representatives (Valeo,Keolys), as other relevant players like Nvidia (special Key note presentation), HERE (that just announced INTEL as new investor for the company) that will have big inside/outside locations to engage visitors to. High expectations comes from FCA that finally unveiled PORTAL the first fully electric fcaportalcar for millennians.. designed by millenians based on a new concept of family vehicle. It’s a prototype.. but seems that a market ready version will be ready in one year.

Even more rumours lead the Faraday Future unveiling. The official presentation of the first car comes after weeks of skeptics and executive leaving news providing the idea of a struggling company.. The level of presentation they just had proved that the company has strong commitment and even if financial problems are part of the challenge.. it doesn’t seem to be a close to end project. The car is quite innovative and sure will be one of the most interesting products to look after. img_8738

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ces2017 will open in the next days.. a lot to see and more to come, even from non exhibitors.. here comes that you can meet a #LucidMotors prototype next to parking spot for private presentation. Stay tuned.

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Electric Vehicles industry shouldn’t fear (too much) Trump Presidency: that’s why

Few hours after Trump’s elections the global “clean energy” business community started debating about potential debacle coming from a step back in green policies, some how announced by new US Government.

autoallianceAutomakers industry made the first step writing an official letter (see letter from AutomotiveNews ) to the “Transition team” asking to review and weak requirements for fuel consumption that is set to a fleet average of more than 50 MPG by 2025, declaring that “The combination of low gas prices and the existing fuel efficiency gains from the early years of the program is undercutting consumer willingness to buy the vehicles with more expensive alternative powertrains that are necessary for the sector to comply with the more stringent standards in out-years”, also arguing about single state regulations unbalancing consumers acceptance about alternative fuel specially considering California is at the forefront of this approach and other States are following. It’s good to remember that EV industry in California (and many more States) has 7.500$ purchase Tax credit (for the first 200.000 vehicles sold from each car manufacturer) and companies like Tesla still has a big revenue stream from selling EV tax credits certificates to other automakers.

More in general green policies seems to be in danger if we consider that President Trump denies global warming and seems positive towards oil and coal industries and believes louisiana-mineral-rights-oil-gas-royaty-buyers-248x182that strict ecological regulations can slow economic growth… even if it’s not true according to recent statements.

It’s not clear whether the US government will erase Paris Cop21 agreement but there are few considerations about EV industry (and new mobility) to outline:

  • Electric vehicles and fuel economy regulations are necessary not only for environmental reasons: they are crucial to hold oil demand (and foreign oil import expenses). We can expect new administrations to keep these measures as today because they prove to reduce oil consumption.
  • New Government seems more interested in financing big infrastructures (roads, bridges, hopefully some public transport network too..) furthermore engaging car manufactures in creating new jobs and keep productions in US instead of foreign factories.. (Doesn’t matter if cars are internal combustion, electric or autonomous..). I guess State Governors will still deal and support new EV brands like FaradayFuture, IMG_6115NextEv, LEECO, creating thousands of new jobs in Nevada, California and more.
  • Most of all it is well known that Customers have the real power and even Trumps election confirms these statements if we bring this statement to politics. Well, consumers today more than in the past like the coming to market innovation in EV industry. After Tesla, all big automakers have highly committed plans to introduce new products and even new brands. This trend can’t be stopped by a public administration.. Maybe the Government can slow it down instead of accelerating but at the end the market goes there.
  • Considering that China and Europe will keep going in this directions US could be in disadvantage situation in the next decade if keep away from this trend.
  • A final political consideration comes from demographics distributions votes: Young people voted mainly for Hillary, following the most disruptive trends in EV, new mobility and innovation. Mr. Trump declares himself to be  President of all Americans and those votes could be very helpful in the midterm election in 4 years time.. so it wouldn’t be so difficult to approach this electorate keeping the growing new and sharing mobility industry alive.

We’ll see in coming months real strategies and first nominations in crucial roles to learn more about what to expect on EV market. Stay tunes.

 @CarloIacovini

Behind Tesla Master Plan 2

Master Plan 2 description brings Tesla(Motors) in the next decade of investments and business models. It is interesting to look at what’s behind this announcement (…maybe)

Few months ago the Model 3 presentation astonished the world of passionates and customers with more than 400.000 reservations in few weeks. The presentation came after weeks of rumors about the suspected Model 3 delay… even if clients will get their cars not earlier than late 2017. I was wondering on how Tesla would have kept the attention to their business (and the stock price) for such a long time.

The masterplan 2 is the next step, only few days before the opening of the Gigafactory in Nevada, pushing the boarder much further than followers would expected. The plan covers new vehicles (Semitruck, transit, pickup) Solarcity (Tesla is buying the “sister” company) Sharing mobility, autonomous vehicle, and new manufacturing technology.. basically there is everything on the news in the energy, mobility&automotive industry in the world so far.

It is difficult not appreciating the plan because you can’t miss any innovation you are interested in. I am among the Tesla followers and I see the strategy behind as as a clever lesson. The masterplan is presented through a simple post (I guess there will be some Investor relations executives working on numbers too), anticipated by a series of signals (website domain change in tesla.com, mission moved from “transportation” to “energy”) and come after the fatality of the Autopilot that might have been accelerating the schedule of this presentation, linking the whole to a relevant financial decision (Solarcity investment to be approved by assembly).

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@Elonmusk made us used to fast communications keeping expectations increasing. But this time the boarders are much higher than before and we are not talking on building cars only… (even that would be enough to have some concerns about the plan) but creating a global company dealing with different industries connected by the great vision of its founder.

I am willing to see  how numbers, investments, business cases will be put together.  Surely there’s material for many future presentations.

Stay tuned!

Energica comes to market featuring high tech

A Brand Storytelling to launch the new Electric Sport Motorcycle made in Modena

Energica #cal1tour proved long trips are possible with EV motorcycle based on DC fast charge technology.

Galleria Energica opens this week in San Francisco. Meet in 53 Page street from July 7th.

Electric vehicles technology and sharing connected mobility will shape the future of automobile industry. I wrote about recent industry changes in few recent posts, but when it comes to real projects things are quite different.

CLIQ3936I recently had the chance to set launching plan for the superior Energica Motor Company second model EVA in USA. Products are well recognized and named by media as the “Tesla of 2 wheels” because bring similar value proposition to customers: performance, exclusivity, luxury, technology and more.

But experts know that Motorcycle industry is usually roughly 8/10 years later than automotive.. so you can figure out the level of concerns about sport 2wheels EV so far. On the other hand the automotive industry success in electric vehicle is a great result to leverage and speed up the introduction to market.

EVA&EGO have many special features but charging time remains the biggest problem consumers face when they consider an EV, especially if it has 2 wheels passion based.

Best way to make consumers aware about riding experience with new technology products is to prove it. Energica is the only bike with DC 20kw fast charge technology installed, the same of automotive industry. California is the crave of EV and has some of the stunning landscapes for riding motorcycle. So the #Cal1tour went live: from Los Angeles to San Francisco, 350 miles riding in one day at 60mph average, 9 fast charging stops of 23 minutes average to charge up to 95% of the battery. A long trip quite common if you have a Tesla or a Leaf… but not usual with an Electric motorcycle.

A crew followed the trip and brand ambassador told his trip in few videos. Enjoy the view, a branding&marketing story split in 3 parts:

To speed up sales strategy Energica opens its first Galleria in San Francisco where customers have the chance to feel the brand experience and see the products.

More to come… Stay tuned

Auto elettriche: ancora molti dubbi?

La lezione di Tesla, i numeri della Cina, mentre il mercato europeo rincorre.

Qualche indizio fa una prova.. ma se guardiamo le notizie degli ultimi giorni sulla mobilità model3elettrica, stiamo andando verso una possibile certezza (forse), sarà il tempo a confermarlo.

Premesso che sono un ottimista (ma oggettivo) analista della situazione, leggo molteplici annunci che hanno diversi punti in comune. In Cina la BYD ha previsto di triplicare le vendite di auto elettriche nel 2016. Per i meno informati, la BYD è l’azienda che in assoluto vende più veicoli a zero emissioni al mondo, 58.000 nel 2015 (su 331.000 veicoli complessivi), che diventeranno 150.000 entro i prossimi 9 mesi. Penso già ai commenti di amici giornalisti, ortodossi dell’auto: “numeri irrisori rispetto al mercato tradizionale.”. Vero.. ma ne riparliamo ancora tra qualche anno. 

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Courtesy:Evobsession.com

Certo.. ma la Cina è un mercato molto diverso quindi andiamo pure alla “regina” dei giorni scorsi: In una presentazione con tutti i migliori elementi degni di una lezione pratica di public speaking emozionale, Elon Musk ha finalmente presentato la tanto attesa Model3

20 minuti partendo dalla grande visione di voler cambiare il mondo trasformando i trasporti in versione ecologica, il “patto” con i clienti che fino a oggi hanno aiutato Tesla comprando i costosi veicoli che hanno permesso di raggiungere questo grande risultato: poter produrre e consegnare tra circa 18 mesi (forse) il nuovo modello. Non c’è dubbio che Elon Musk sia uno stratega del business e della comunicazione. Con una presentazione ufficiale dove ha chiamato a raccolta partners, clienti, affezionati ed entusiasti, è riuscito a spazzare vie mesi di polemiche che solo poche settimane fa davano Tesla in grande crisi di liquidità, incapace di mantenere le promesse, quando addirittura si vociferava che nella fatidica data del 31 marzo della Model 3 ci sarebbero stati dei disegni o mockup. Invece non solo la vettura era reale, ma già il giorno dopo è stata casualmente vista in giro per Los Angeles per delle riprese in strada.   E se non bastasse in pochi giorni sono arrivati 275.000 ordini per la nuova vettura, che con deposito cauzionale di 1000$.. vuol dire quasi 300Milioni di cassa. Anche se la vettura presentata fosse stata solo un prototipo unico dal costo di svariati milioni.. la mossa strategica sarebbe comunque da manuale.  Ma se Tesla ci ha abituati a rilanciare ogni volta che entrava in difficoltà ci auguriamo che ora si portino avanti perché sostenere questa aspettativa per un anno e mezzo non sarà semplice. Specie se consideriamo che che altri competitor non stanno alla finestra.  GM ha già la nuova Bolt nelle linee di montaggio e sarà sul mercato in boltpochi mesi. La sfida è sempre più aperta. L’industria europea per ora arranca, un po’ in ritardo. Le grandi marche affilano le armi e passano dalla fase dei prototipi alla produzione di alcuni modelli costosi (gruppo VW/Porsche/Audi) comunque previsti nei prossimi anni, BMW consolida il brand “ì” con ampliamenti di gamma, Nissan inizia a raccogliere i frutti dei milioni di Euro investiti negli anni passati con un ruolo di leadership, mentre Renault sembra più ferma sulle scelte degli anni passati. Insomma manca ancora una “Tesla” europea, ma forse non potremo mai avere quel tipo di industria, con quello stile e quel modus operandi..  perchè, appunto, siamo Europei. Forse un bene, forse no..  lo scopriremo in pochi anni.

 

 

Self-driving cars: when does marketing come?

#CES2016 proved (again) how autonomous cars can be ready to market much earlier than Governments and consumers are. Technology seems not to be a big issue (autonomous engineers might disagree about it), specially if we see how big car automakers are confident in showing their new products.

We all know about Tesla autopilot-mode, Volkswagen had a keynote speech about how the image2management is shaping a new company for electric, connected, smart and autonomous driving range of products. Mercedes just been licensed to drive autonomous E-Class in Nevada roads, FaradayFuture showed a great concept car, not a production one and not even really close to their real plan, which aims to deliver new models since 2017, with autonomous driving in their path.

Toyota showed long term concepts cars and Ford CEO talked much about new regulations required as the industry is ready. General Motors after investing $500mln in ridesharing boltcompany Lyft, just unveiled the new Bolt. Even those companies not exhibiting  at the CES made rumors about this coming future technology. Next-EV grows in San Josè R&D facility. The company team won the first ever world Formula-E championship last year and they think global with facilities in US, Europe, China. I can’t miss to mention Alphabet new tailored company Google Self Driving car further than Apple Car project that everyone knows about (.. but please don’t talk much as it’s a secret). I apologize if I don’t dive in describing Nissan pilot projects and Volvo existing self driving cars in Goteborg, but I only remind that the first ever self driving car fleet comes from Italian Parma University R&D company Vislab that drove (actually they didn’t) more than 13.000km from Milan to Shanghai in autonomous driving back in 2010.

Too many news… confirm that industry is almost ready, so what’s next? If we all believe that products will be enough to make the market, we’ll be terribly wrong. Further than that the overall car industry needs to point few more milestones to shape a new mobility business case:

Regulations. Detroit announce by US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx about the 4B plan to set standard rules and promote self driving technology was the right think in the right moment (and at the right place, being at NAIAS show).

IMG_6115Market(ing). Are we really sure people will accept so easily such a disruptive new technology? Probably new generation does, Millennians  already prefer sharing mobility more than ownership, but there are more adults on the streets than young ones driving around. It took years to make people familiar in using an electric car.. and you are still driving them. I am highly passionate about new technology so I know industry has to be forward thinking through a new smart approach to self driving cars. Marketing strategies will soon become a key issue to success into this new business industry and certainly it’s a different game compared to sell cars. 

More comments to come, stay tuned.- Carlo

 

Toyota shows long future concepts at #CES2016

Attendees at the International Consumer Electronics Show are getting a first-hand look at the future of mobility, and it is cleaner, safer and more convenient. Toyota is showcasing a host of automated, connected and zero-emission technologies at CES 2016,

IMG_6095“At Toyota, we see the vehicle of the future as more than just a mode of transportation,” said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. Inc. “Instead, it will be something more useful, accessible and exciting than ever before. These next generation connected and automated vehicles will optimize their own operational capabilities and deliver comfort, convenience and joy to passengers – and they’ll be arriving sooner than you think.”

IMG_6097Technologies on display include:

  • The TOYOTA Smart Center, the heart of Toyota’s vision for a Smart Mobility Society that connects people, vehicles and communities. The powerful, secure and private cloud-based computing system collects secure vehicle data, analyzes information from millions of vehicles around the globe and provides customers with personalized services that make life easier.
  • Next generation connected service systems such as Agent+, which leverages multiple factors including day, time, location and driving history to predict likely destinations and help guide you there quickly and efficiently.
  • The Mobility Teammate Concept, which demonstrates Toyota’s more than 20 years of research and development into automated driving technologies. The vehicle showcases Toyota’s approach to automated driving – building relationships between people and cars to help them team up in pursuit of safe and enjoyable driving. This approach acknowledges the utility of automated driving technologies while maintaining the fun experience of driving itself.
  • A deep learning and artificial intelligence display, where scale model Prius connected vehicles learn from and share with each other in real time to create a safe driving environment.
  • Toyota FCV Plus concept vehicle, which demonstrates Toyota’s vision of a connected, sustainable hydrogen society. The concept vehicle showcases the potential of hydrogen fuel cell technology beyond just the automotive industry, and is capable generating electricity directly from hydrogen stored outside the vehicle and thus operating as a stable source of electric power for use at home or on the go.
  • The Toyota Kikai, meaning “machine” which brings the machinery of the vehicle out from beneath the body and makes an open display of its beauty.

IMG_6101While many of the vehicles and technologies on display at the Toyota exhibit are future concepts, some – like telematics systems such as Agent+, may be coming soon to Toyota vehicles