GRA
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McKinsey: Powering mobility’s future: An interview with WiTricity’s Alex Gruzen

Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:37 pm

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/automotive-and-assembly/our-insights/powering-mobilitys-future-an-interview-with-witricitys-alex-gruzen?cid=mobility-eml-alt-mcq-mck&hlkid=d354f99d5ac449ab9d7173bf69abcada&hctky=1713434&hdpid=47ee23f6-7024-439f-9dfc-d2193c2de25c

A leader at the forefront of wireless electricity explains why cars are going electric, electric is going wireless, and the mobility ecosystem is headed for major change.

f the future of mobility is destined to be electric, CEO Alex Gruzen of WiTricity wants to make sure it’s cordless, too. WiTricity, a Massachusetts-based start-up, designs systems that deliver power wirelessly to car batteries using a technology known as magnetic resonance.

In this interview with McKinsey’s David Schwartz, Gruzen describes how convenient wireless charging could eliminate one of the major obstacles to widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs): the worry that consumers have about when and where to recharge the car. Solving that problem might be the key to unlocking EV sales, especially in cities. And rising sales of EVs would, in turn, usher in a host of changes for the auto industry, including the prospect of electric mobility as a service. . . .

The Quarterly: What’s your perspective on how consumer demand will play out?

Alex Gruzen: Current EV buyers are the early adopters. They have been very motivated, largely for environmental reasons.

But we’re still at single-digit penetration in the market. We need to reach a broad cross-section of customers. And there are barriers. Number one is cost. Number two is the range the car can travel—can I get there from here? Number three is anxiety about charging.

Right now, charging requires a change in consumer behavior—remembering to charge it, plugging it in, searching for charging locations, and so on. With gasoline vehicles, on the other hand, you can be completely reactive. I drive until I’m nearly empty; the light comes on or the dashboard beeps at me; I find a handy gas station, and in five minutes, I’m on my way. I don’t have to think about filling up again for maybe a week.

With electric vehicles, you have to be proactive. In the morning, you have to think: Do I have enough range? Can I get to all the places I need to go today? What about detours? What about having to go somewhere in an emergency? That’s very proactive planning. It’s a totally different consumer experience. And, from our conversations with automakers, the sense is that the best way to eliminate this anxiety about charging is to make sure that drivers start every day with a full battery.

A charger that you might keep in your garage delivers the power to your car battery overnight or in two or three hours between trips. It happens in the background—it’s transparent to the user.

— Alex Gruzen

The Quarterly: Which is where wireless fits in?

Alex Gruzen: Exactly. With wireless charging, you just park your car, and it just starts charging. A charger that you might keep in your garage delivers the power to your car battery overnight or in two or three hours between trips. It happens in the background—it’s transparent to the user. You don’t have to think about it. And that makes for a fantastic customer experience. . . .
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

WetEV
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Re: McKinsey: Powering mobility’s future: An interview with WiTricity’s Alex Gruzen

Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:06 pm

GRA wrote:
Right now, charging requires a change in consumer behavior—remembering to charge it, plugging it in, searching for charging locations, and so on. With gasoline vehicles, on the other hand, you can be completely reactive. I drive until I’m nearly empty; the light comes on or the dashboard beeps at me; I find a handy gas station, and in five minutes, I’m on my way. I don’t have to think about filling up again for maybe a week.

With electric vehicles, you have to be proactive. In the morning, you have to think: Do I have enough range? Can I get to all the places I need to go today? What about detours? What about having to go somewhere in an emergency? That’s very proactive planning. It’s a totally different consumer experience. And, from our conversations with automakers, the sense is that the best way to eliminate this anxiety about charging is to make sure that drivers start every day with a full battery.


Owning an EV changes this. Alex Gruzen almost for sure doesn't own an EV.

You develop a habit, plug in when you get home. No planning, as long as your trips are in the No Worries Range, as almost every trip should be if you bought an EV with enough range. Never have to take time out of a day to stop and stand out in the rain, wind and cold while your car gulps dino juice. Habits are simple.

Proactive? No, almost completely habitual.
WetEV
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GRA
Posts: 9873
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: McKinsey: Powering mobility’s future: An interview with WiTricity’s Alex Gruzen

Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:26 pm

WetEV wrote:
GRA wrote:
Right now, charging requires a change in consumer behavior—remembering to charge it, plugging it in, searching for charging locations, and so on. With gasoline vehicles, on the other hand, you can be completely reactive. I drive until I’m nearly empty; the light comes on or the dashboard beeps at me; I find a handy gas station, and in five minutes, I’m on my way. I don’t have to think about filling up again for maybe a week.

With electric vehicles, you have to be proactive. In the morning, you have to think: Do I have enough range? Can I get to all the places I need to go today? What about detours? What about having to go somewhere in an emergency? That’s very proactive planning. It’s a totally different consumer experience. And, from our conversations with automakers, the sense is that the best way to eliminate this anxiety about charging is to make sure that drivers start every day with a full battery.


Owning an EV changes this. Alex Gruzen almost for sure doesn't own an EV.

You develop a habit, plug in when you get home. No planning, as long as your trips are in the No Worries Range, as almost every trip should be if you bought an EV with enough range. Never have to take time out of a day to stop and stand out in the rain, wind and cold while your car gulps dino juice. Habits are simple.

Proactive? No, almost completely habitual.

Sure, it's a matter of habit, but we're talking about the behavior of mainstream consumers versus early adopters, and if there's one thing we know it's that most people are lazy and prefer not to have to think about or deal with routine tasks if they don't have to, and the less physical action required on their part, the better. Which is why there are remote controls for TVs, doors and so on, automatic instead of manual transmissions and climate controls, etc. Give the average person a choice between having to plug in and not having to plug in, and which do you think they'll choose (as long as the extra cost of the latter is minor)? Then there's the switch to AV car-sharing, AV deliveries etc., which will require wireless charging to keep costs down. Gruzen talks about a lot more than just private cars in the interview.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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