Faraday Future 1180

If you’re not in Vegas this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) I suggest you have a good look.

Because there are big shifts underway, folks, that are going to transform our lives.

The show is always an extraordinary mash up of techies, fans, business-leaders, and hacks.  And every year there’s a load of hype about this or that new gizmo.

Last year everybody was obsessing about wearable tech, as the world waited for the launch of Apple’s smartwatch.

But the challenge, as ever, is to cut through the hype about gadgets, and to focus on the trends that are genuinely going to change our lives.  Let’s not forget that CES was the venue for the launch of CDs, DVDs and 3D printers.

2015

Can’t believe another year has gone by.  I’m not usually into dwelling on the past but 2015 has been a standout year.

I went to Cuba for the first time, fell in love with the country and the people, and realised there’s a gigantic opportunity there to create something sustainable, and to scale, that will benefit Cubans and global investors.  We’re building a fantastic business in Cuba, with some excellent local partners who have the rare benefit of being long-established and well-respected Cuban business people.  I anticipate great strides ahead in the coming 12 months.

I stepped down from the boards of my London AIM listed companies: concluding with, at the end of the year, AfriAg, Rare Earth Minerals, Bacanora Minerals, Inspirit Energy, and Evocutis (one of the AIM pioneers dating back to 2003).  Some people were surprised by this.  But I’ve never made a secret of the fact that my job is to rescue dying or dead businesses, nurture fledgling businesses, get them into shape and get them funded, and in due course hand over to long-term professional management teams for the next stage of their growth.

Electric Vehicles

The world is on the cusp of a brilliant new age of innovative human transportation – cars, trucks, trains and planes.

January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (where CDs, DVDs and 3D printers were first launched) might just be the touch-paper that ignites the electric vehicle (EV) firework.

Las Vegas is the venue for Herbert Diess, CEO of VW Passenger Cars revealing VW’s next all-electric concept vehicle. VW has been a bit sniffy about EVs in the past, but it needs to regain its car-manufacturing mojo and do something about its reputation after the recent emissions scandal.

VW has always been known for innovative technology, precision engineering, quality and an enviable global sales and distribution network. And with cash reserves of $32 billion its pockets are deep (even allowing for the €6.5 billion it has set aside to clear up the emissions mess). The emissions scandal should prove to be yesterday’s fish-n-chip paper as I think a lot of car manufacturers were cheating. Yes – even a few in the USA probably bent the rules a tad.

So I predict a big noise from VW in the EV market.  And I also offer VW some advice – now is the time to get serious with a technical collaborator, a Google, Apple, or Tesla.

Porsche Electric

This week we heard dramatic news that global motoring giant Porsche, the European powerhouse of sports cars, has thrown down the gauntlet to America’s electric vehicle darling Tesla Motors.

Who’s going to win?

And now we learn that the Chinese are the world’s biggest manufacturer of electric vehicles.

There’s some serious competition and some bloody fighting on the horizon, my friends.

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