In orden to give an example on linear vs exponential thinking, we invite readers to analize the following statement on the article form the International Energy Agency published on june 2017 comparing it to the history of the previous transition on transportation.
“Still, electric vehicles only made up 0.2% of total passenger light-duty vehicles in circulation in 2016. They have a long way to go before reaching numbers capable of making a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. In order to limit temperature increases to below 2°C by the end of the century, the number of electric cars will need to reach 600 million by 2040, according to IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives.”
“Strong policy support will be necessary to keep EVs on track.”(1)
What we know about the last transition on transportation? Can we can learn something?
In 1894, on average, a horse will produce between 15 and 35 pounds of manure per day in London. The Times newspaper predicted…
“In 50 years, every street in London will be buried under nine feet of manure.”(2)
In 1903, the British MP, John Douglas-Scott-Montagu, who was, interestingly, one of the great early pioneers of motoring in the UK, famously said:
“I do not believe the introduction of motorcars will ever affect the riding of horses”(3)
“Cars and horses shared the road, not always happily, for decades. The last horse-drawn trolley left the streets of New York in 1917. Mexico City had mule tram service until 1932. […] But the automobilizing of America was inevitable, especially because it soon became cheaper to keep a car. In 1900, only 4,192 cars were sold in the U.S.; by 1912, it was 356,000. “The equine was not replaced all at once, but function by function,” according to “From Horse Power to Horsepower.” “Freight haulage was the last bastion of horse-drawn transportation; the motorized truck finally supplanted the horse cart in the 1920s.”(4)
Depending on the source, it took gas cars between 10 to 40 years to replace horse power vehicles and the IEA is asumming that it will take even longer this new transition. Isn’t it a linear thinking?
We encourage you to be aware of the Deceptive phase of innovation… If you think linearly, you probably won’t be able to catch up when you get to notice the exponential trend…