Wednesday, December 30, 2015

OPEC and Electric cars

5WPR CEO RONN TOROSSIAN - Opec on Electric Cars
OPEC has some bad news for fans of electric cars. Because of course they do. When your business involves doing something that someone else wants to stop, it’s definitely in your best interest to point out how bad they are at their job. Which is pretty much what a recent report published by OPEC does.
Fans of electric cars may just love the technology or they may be motivated by a desire to save the planet. Either way, they will likely be disappointed to learn that, according to the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries predicts that in the year 2040, 94 percent of the cars on the road will still be powered by oil-based fuels.

According to OPEC’s “annual outlook” missive, “Without a technology breakthrough, battery electric vehicles are not expected to gain significant market share in the foreseeable future.”

Further, the report claims that by 2040, fully electric cars will only account for about one percent of those sold. Hybrid cars are expected to only account for 14 percent of the market. So, in 25 years, basically no movement forward.

Now, it needs to be said that this group has no time machine nor crystal ball to peer into the future. And they definitely have a significant financial motivation to make sure this version of the future occurs.

So, what stock should we place in these prognostications? Well, some, to be sure. They are predicting their future as much as that of the rest of us. OPEC thrives on the international thirst for fossil fuels. A thirst they don’t expect will be quenched any time soon.

Despite all the concern about the environment and the trendiness of electric cars, there really hasn’t been a wholesale consumer demand for anything other than better MPG. In fact, commercials don’t even explain what that number is anymore. When was the last time you heard “miles per gallon” in a car ad?

PR companies know consumers aren’t considering the consequences of their purchases beyond their pocketbooks. They want to go to the gas station less, sure, but nobody is really pushing for “never”. To make that happen, OPEC’s opponents need to brandish a better strategy capturing the imagination of the world’s auto buyers … and they need innovators the likes of Henry Ford to make Elon Musk’s successes affordable for the common man.


Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.

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