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"Electric Car for $69 per Month" in Humanizing Tech

When teenager’s first part-time job is their car

I. A Car That Costs Less Than a Cell Phone

One of my friends recently bought an electric car to commute around Orange County and LA. He pays $89 per month for the car, but over $160 per month for his cell phone. Said differently, you can get a massive machine to transport your family for free forever (no gas required) at half the price as your phone. Insane.

In fact, because his car payment is less than $100 per month, he can’t even pay over the internet. $100 is the minimum payment. So, he pays a bit more every month ($105 with the fee). Interestingly, every 9 months he doesn’t have a car payment because he’s been overpaying. I can see the future marketing campaigns now.

Buy 8 months of our $100 car, get 1 month free.

This is the reason teenagers in 2016 don’t measure their independence by the first car on their 16th birthday, but rather by the day they get an iPhone and can install Snapchat for the first time.

Using their phone, they can get an Uber to go anywhere (so who really needs a car?), can learn anything (so who really needs school?), can communicate with anyone (so who needs a dedicated second phone line at the house?). But what’s funny is that this independence costs more than a car payment now.

Our society has just crossed some invisible threshold that we will never come back from.

II. The Deal of the Century

So what’s the car? A Fiat, 500e to be exact. The e stands for electric. Below is the banner image from the website outlining the electric vehicle deal from one of the dealers in the orange county area.

Here’s the fine print for how you can pick one up for yourself:

  • 36 month lease with a 10,000 mile per year limit.
  • $69 price per month requires $2500 down, plus tax, title, license and doc fees, plus a $395 disposition fee at lease end (around $5,000 total).
  • $99 price per month requires $0 down but you still have to pay the other fees, so you’re looking at more like a $2500 total out of pocket to drive away.
  • California reimburses you from $1000 to $2500 because it’s an electric vehicle.

The interior isn’t too shabby either, you just need to pick your color combo.

The only downside is you have to charge your vehicle every 84 miles, but there’s an app for that (seriously). And that’s enough to get you where you’re going.

III. Teenager’s New Job

As the automakers and tech companies race towards both electric and autonomous cars, we will see a very real race to the bottom of the pricing market. The cost of a $69 car will be offset by ridesharing services.

At $69/month, however, teenagers would buy this car because they could actually make money on the deal.

A 10 minute drive is about $10 on Uber. Let’s assume the driver, or autonomous car owner, gets 30% of that. So, everytime you lend your car out for 15 minutes, you make $3. That’s $12 per hour which means you make more doing that than working in a grocery store, retail, or hosting at a restaurant.

A teenager’s autonomous electric vehicle can make them $12/hour, more than many other first part-time jobs.

You’ll end up tricking out your car, creating new marketing channels, and learning how to become a small business owner. You might start acquiring more vehicles for your personal ride-sharing fleet. And this will become your first job at 16 years old. Or maybe sooner depending on when your parents give you a phone and an autonomous car fleet to manage.

When that happens, we’ve completely up-ended the educational and manufacturing system. We give kids the taste of being their own boss, showing how putting in more time, effort, and smarts can make you beat your competitors with an exponential payoff.

Suddenly, working for the man for “security” seems much less compelling than it once did. And it sets Gen Z out on a totally new vector for their lives. No longer content to follow the plan of: 1) go to school 2) work in a big company for years 3) buy a house in the burbs 4) minimize risk.

Instead, they will be more nomadic, living in different parts of the country or world while their car makes money while they sleep. They will take odd jobs on the internet building Facebook pages, coding up a quick site, creating their own entertainment content, freelancing some design or copywriting.

When everyone in high school is an entrepreneur, what happens to our economy?

Now we’re starting to ask the right questions.

IV. The Future of Cars & Snapchat

The car becomes the accessory to the smart phone, and therefore costs less. Your supercomputer costs more than your car, which you lend out to others. Very soon, you will be able to share your electric, self-driving car fleet with your Snapchat friends.

And once you do that, you’ll be able to “ride shotgun” with your AR goggles, fast tapping between live video streams of your fleet so you can make sure they’re taking care of your car. In fact, the evidence is already there in plain site. You probably just haven’t made the connection yet.

The threshold we’re crossing is about to become a bit more dangerous. But not for the owner of the car. Rather, for the owner of the established system.

— Sean

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Electric Car for $69 per Month was originally published in Humanizing Tech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Read the responses to this story on Medium.



from Stories by Sean Everett on Medium http://ift.tt/2aQOTpF