In 2001, the Segway was released to revolutionize pedestrian's walking behavior. Now, 18 years later... well... I guess some cops use a Segway. But no revolution has taken place.
Sure, but Segway was not at this disruption level, some reasons I can think of:
- It did not exhibit concrete signs of market disruption, was rather more of a niche of its own that didn't take off, it was pitched as a replacement for bikes and scooters and such, but no clear justification for what the self balancing feature brought to the table. Bikers were in it for the exercise and trail trips, scooter rides wanted to take long trips on the streets and highways - depending on model. Neither of these use cases fit the Segway well, it had practical applications in its own niche that also served as boundaries the product never grew out of. EVs are in many ways superior without question, and their current limitations - premium market pricing, rural charging infrastructure and servicing as examples - are not hard limits to overcome and apply to a small subset of its target global market, they are quickly getting addressed every day, one town after another down the list.
- It already had better alternatives that were popular outside of the US in the form of (e)scooters, (e)bikes and such. It didn't seem to offer a practical enough application of its tech to necessitate a wholesale replacement to similar solutions, ones that were not popular here but are now coming from abroad and taking over cities in the form of Bird, Lime etc. Actually Uber bought one of these companies and now you can select one on the same App that lets you get car sharing rides here.
- Segway's technology itself is actually parts of allot of modern e-bikes now, check out some of BMW, Yamaha and Honda's self balancing motorbikes, they're pretty cool and starting to come out.
So in a sense we have Segway's technology entering the market indirectly, it just wont be the limited original form it was presented at.
- More importantly it did not tie into a worldwide movement toward this shift in the energy and transport market as a whole. The whole world is economically and politically pushing for this change. We got nations calling for a climate "emergency" and making this a national security initiative across the globe, we got nations moving to secure these future industries and develop the best wind and solar energy generation technologies to control the future job markets. EVs and batteries in general play a major role in these various initiatives and compliment each other strongly as a whole.
China is aiming to dominate the world's energy and transport market, and are pouring serious funds and initiatives toward this effort, trying to beat us and other major economies to these like they did with solar.
Europe is following suit as well, planning to ban gasoline vehicles in their cities as early as 2030. They're pushing their companies to catch up on EV technology and it all ties into the energy grid going green with solar, wind and storage, two of those Tesla are involved in already, one hopes they can grow those sides of their business down the road as each would be the size of the auto market or greater by expert projections.
So there really is no doubt at this point in time that this takes off, it's just a question of who will be on top. Could be Tesla, could be VW, could be BYD, Norway's massive sovereign wealth fund is betting on Tesla, Warren Buffet is betting on BYD, and so on.
We're at an early point in mainstream EV development and already we have products that can go 300 miles on a charge, charge in half an hour, perform like a Porche and save thousands per year on gasoline and maintenance. Where will we be in five years after battery costs go below $100/kWh, energy densities grow another 40 percent (8%/year average) and sell in the $30k sticker price bracket?
Early cars didn't have a problem outselling horses despite being initially slower and lacking in proper roads. EVs have it good compared to that, their challenges are much closer to overcome than lack of roads and gas stations was, and their advantages are too strong for many markets to ignore, market perception is not the same everywhere because the challenges don't apply everywhere either: https://cleantechnica.com/2019/07/10/te ... -coverage/
I just saw this cool discussion between three known independent investors, it had allot of interesting points to make about market conditions, Tesla's approaching inclusion into the S&P 500, shortseller activity, Tesla's emphasis on growth relating to these dynamics and so on, I thought it was a fun watch:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNDD3CHEsMI
So yeah, there are challenges, but also many advantages depending on location, so I don't think this trend can be ignored with trillions of dollars and extremely fierce competition between nations at stake.