📊 EV’s Charts of the Week #42
Hi, I’m Azeem Azhar. I convene Exponential View to help us understand how our societies and political economy will change under the force of rapidly accelerating technologies. This is my member’s-only Charts of the Week mailout in which we explore the world through data.
At some point between 2013 and 2015, we entered the Exponential Age, a new period of human affairs catalysed by accelerating technology platforms across four broad domains: computing, energy, biology and manufacturing. Combinatorial forces create previously unimaginable applications – and challenges. Here, within the Exponential Gap, is where the greatest opportunity of our time lies. As you read through today's email, keep this in mind.
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DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES
A key milestone in global electric vehicle penetration is when specific countries see electric sales make up 10% or more of all vehicle sales. There are now 16 countries where this is the case, and 6 countries have sales over the 20% threshold. Via Assaad Razzouk
Norway leads the way
You can see how rapidly 20% market share can turn into 70%. In the case of Norway, it took six years for electric vehicles to go from a fifth to around three-quarters market share. By 2025, sales of fossil-fuel vehicles will be prohibited in Norway, triggering the replacement cycle. It will be fascinating to see what happens to gasoline and diesel infrastructure over the coming years. My hunch is that it is an unstable system. Gas stations are marginal businesses that go out of business easily. As they fail, the inconvenience of owning an ICE rises. Meanwhile, the range of choice of EVs will be increasing, reducing cost and driving more consumers towards them. Via Paul Graham
Encouraging news in the UK
Even the UK is reporting impressive growth in the EV space. Europe’s third-largest market almost doubled electric vehicle volume from 2020 to 2021. (There is a weird spike in April last year which actually reflects a fall in overall car sales rather than a transition to electric vehicles.) Via CleanTechnica
Electic vehicles made up 11% of BMWs total sales (about 36,000 units) for the first half of the year, with sales trebling over the same period last year. The company is investing $24bn in batteries to keep up with demand. The firm forecasts that it will ship 1.2m BEVs in 2030. This represents four doublings in nine years or a 37% annualised growth in sales of BEVs. Per the Norway example, I find it hard to imagine the demand for premium ICE vehicles holding up once a tipping point has been reached with premium electrics. So what drives BMW’s assumptions? Linear thinking about customer demand? Or supply-side constraints? Via Bloomberg
DEPARTMENT OF GENERATIONAL CHANGE
For richer or poorer
The number of men in American universities is falling behind women at record levels. This is taking place across income and race. A university degree used to be a key part of the American formula for success (along with promises of homeownership). With numbers falling through the floor, how this will translate?Another generation of disgruntled and angry young men? Or an opportunity for entrepreneurs to create alternative skill-building avenues for a new economy? Via Wall Street Journal
The boomers have it cornered
The university challenge is compounded by the galling generational power gap in the US government. The charts above show how few representatives and senators are Millennials [spoiler: they are majority boomers]. This will change over time, but it might be too late to address the foundations of the generational challenges. Via Kevin Munger
DEPARTMENT OF CRYPTO CHANGE
The rise of the rest
El Salvador is making history this week as the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender. The event highlights the rapid growth of bitcoin trading in emerging markets. Depending on the success of El Salvador’s experiment, the above chart might well look very different in the near future. Via FT
The next generation
Along with deeper penetration in emerging markets, the creation of new and faster blockchains are transforming the crypto world. The remarkable growth of the Solana blockchain is something we explored in COTW #40. Since then, the price of Solana has exploded [from about $60 two weeks ago to $200 this week] along with the price of several DeFi tokens operating in the SOL ecosystem. A shift underway? Via CoinMarketCap
Best seed investment ever?
Packy McCormick found an early seed investment table for Solana. The figures are incredible. $3.17 million invested in the seed about three years around is now worth $14.46bn. That's a 4,562x return. Via Packy McCormick
Looking for direction
The price of Uniswap, once one of the star tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, demonstrates the challenges facing DeFi tokens as Solana pulls ahead of the pack. These tokens appear listless as new technology makes transactions speeds faster with cheaper costs. Via CoinMarketCap
Love them or hate them
Americans never embraced the roundabout. For some, this was the right decision. Via Simon Kuestenmacher
Don’t call time on the city
Cities are still struggling to regain their pre-Covid footing. New data suggests that economic activity is spreading away from major city centres, but it’s still too early to call time on the city. Via The Economist
Climate change from a different perspective
Stunning diagrams putting climate change in a new perspective. The above image shows the pace of movement of Greenland’s glaciers. Via The Guardian
Happy for you to discuss any of these charts in the comments. Comments are open for Exponential View members. Visit the website to discuss and comment.
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