I have always embraced change in my life. I think change is the oil for our minds that keeps us active and alive. Failing to change with age or technology results in physical, mental and spiritual ruin.

Napoleon once said… ‘Rest is rust.”

He accepted change.

Now, the point of all of this has to do with our transition from internal combustion automobiles to electric vehicles (EV’s).

Our oldest son just bought a new Tesla and took me for a ride to show me all of the features it had. I was impressed. I won’t go into all of the things it is capable of doing, but just let it suffice to say it is amazing.

So, this leads me to do a little research where I found out that there are currently any number of companies manufacturing or starting to manufacture electric automobiles and trucks.

What does this mean for all of us?

Well, let’s go back to the early 20th century and the advent of Henry Ford and his assembly line production of Ford automobiles.

I would bet there were a large number of nay-sayers who refused to accept the fact that automobiles were going to replace horse transportation. They would end up on the losing side of that bet, wouldn’t they?

Perhaps some did, but others would not recognize the changes as they were about to happen. The folks making leather harnesses, saddles and other horse related leather goods could have seen an emerging market for automobile seat covers and other uses for leather if they had been wise. Were they? I don’t know the answer to this.

One of my good friends was the CEO of a large paint firm in Germany. It had been around since 1670 or so. They now make all kinds of interior and exterior finishes for European vehicles. I asked what were they doing back in the 1600’s? He told me they were making paint for carriages. So, obviously his firm changed with the times as horse drawn carriages began to be replaced with automobiles.

We will see the same things in a few short years.

Already electric vehicles are extending their ranging abilities to be able to drive us long distances on one power charge. I am sure this will improve as the days go by.

But think for a moment who and what will be affected if gasoline powered vehicles get replaced by electric ones.

Well, not much need for muffler and exhaust dealers since there isn’t any on electric vehicles.

How about businesses that are set up to change your oil and filters?

Gas stations will become ‘electric refill stations.’ Which leads to having to install a charging device of some sort in your house. A new market.

What happens to auto mechanics shops? Can they convert into dealing with electric motors and battery technology? Time will see, won’t it?

Will any of this happen overnight? Nope, it will take many years to convert over to the idea that oil and gas-powered vehicles can or could be replaced.

But the possibility is certainly there for us to observe, isn’t it?

I would like to know how the makers of gas lamps or candles adapted when electric lighting came into or lives?

Look how we have adapted to change with our music. In my lifetime, we have gone from long play vinyl records to 8- track tapes, then cassettes, then I-pods and now we can get music from a 100 different places.

I remember back in 1993, when I was starting a software company and I needed several city managers to test out what we were developing. I offered to install (at our expense) computers in their offices to test my software.

I had a number of these managers refuse to accept my offer since in their words….” computers are a fad, they will never last, so we don’t need any.”

I would like to get their opinion today if I could. I bet it would be different today.

No, change is inevitable and will occur whether we want it to or not. 

I don’t know if electric vehicles will replace gasoline powered vehicles. The jury is still out on that one and may take a number of years to see if it really takes hold.

But I do know that we should all pay attention to the changes being made in the world and position ourselves in such a way that we can survive in whatever direction we need to go.

I would think the owners of buggy whip factories probably wished they had embraced the changes that were on the way for them….

See you next week..

Go to Letters From North America on Facebook and sign up…..thanks