The power of a mission statement

Elon Musk set out to shape the future of energy with a succinct and clear statement:

“Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

In their most bullish scenario, Wood Mackenzie believes that electric cars could make up 85 percent of all new car sales by 2035 (greentechmedia.com). In fact it’s becoming increasingly clear that we are on the verge of a seismic shift, with the automobile industry transitioning itself from the century old internal combustion engine to battery power.

The implications are tremendous. Coupled with the rise of solar and wind energy, it introduces a fighting chance for the world to meet the 2 degrees global temperature target required to avert what many scientists consider as climate catastrophe.

It also poses geopolitical questions. If demand for oil declines, what does that mean for the Middle East, which has gained a dubious significance within the global economy on account of the black gold amalgamated within its boundaries. A Middle East without a global oil interest may actually act as a spur for healing, quite simply as there will be fewer foreign interests vying for a slice of the oil pie. In addition, its rulers who are today characterised as the very byword for gluttony and decadence, may actually have to act in a manner which requires thinking and effort rather than idle privilege.

It’s still early days, and any future predictions are only that – predictions, but it’s quite possible that in 50 years we look back at Tesla’s mission statement as one of the most significant in history.

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