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War breeds innovation

In the latest example of man’s nonstop lust for blood and power, the world has fixed its eyes upon Ukraine. Despite living in a very polarized society and world, a majority consensus of nations has emerged condemning Russia’s actions.

The United States has been at the forefront of condemning Russia’s actions and implementing sanctions upon the country. However, it’s much easier for the U.S. to do so than its Western European allies because it is not nearly dependent upon the voluminous exports of Russian oil and gas.

Couple those truths with the fact that the majority of international governments and automakers have agreed to pursue initiatives to substantially increase the number of electric vehicles in circulation in the coming years. Innovations in the quality of battery production and financial commitments by the large automakers toward the research and development of electric vehicles have allowed the macro electric vehicle market to close the gap between itself and its longstanding gasoline-powered brethren.

What does all of that mean?

I think it leads to significant breakthroughs in the development of electric vehicles. History is fraught with examples of unforeseen innovations in times of war. Europe’s 292 million drivers seem fairly motivated to break their dependence upon Vlad’s oil, believing that without oil revenues, the Russian war machine just runs out of gas.

However, the electric vehicle market needs to go one more significant iteration of innovation before it is ready for widespread consumer consumption. The electric passenger vehicles are close enough to their gasoline-powered cousins to entice the very environmentally-minded to make the switch. But once you enter the realms of the SUV and larger vehicles, the batteries just don’t keep pace with the gasoline. The automakers must remedy this in order to surmount the inflection point needed for widespread acceptance.

I believe, if all that stands between breaking Putin and idly standing by is one big breakthrough in battery technology, then you better expect that it’s coming.

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