Scientists assert that global warming must be kept below 2 degrees Celsius to avoid insurmountable global disruption. Getting there will require near total decarbonization of economic activity by 2060. Transportation accounts for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., but with the help of electric technologies, we believe that we can decarbonize the passenger car sector by this deadline.

The first part of the podcast tells the story of the electric car and the market conditions and innovations that have paved the way for electric cars today. We then follow the story with an interview with Darden Professor Mike Lenox, an expert in business innovation and strategy and co-author on the report titled Path to 2060: Decarbonization of the Automobile Industry.

Topics we cover include:

  1. The era of ferment occurring as incumbents and entrepreneurial ventures battle to become the dominant electric vehicle platform
  2. How global demand, e.g. from the Chinese market, makes this era of electric vehicle production different from past efforts
  3. The role of regulation and consumer-oriented incentives in driving innovation 
  4. The impact of U.S. technology policy (or lack thereof) on the U.S. electric vehicles market

This is the first in a series of podcasts on decarbonization. Please also see Decarbonizing the Electric Utility Industry and Decarbonizing the Industrial Manufacturing Sector

This podcast is hosted by Rebecca Duff, senior research associate for the Business Innovation and Climate Change Initiative at Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Soundbites used by permission of Peppercut Films and Tesla.

About the Expert

Michael Lenox

Senior Associate Dean and Chief Strategy Officer; Tayloe Murphy Professor of Business Administration

Lenox’s expertise is in the domain of technology strategy and policy. He studies the role of innovation in helping a business succeed. In particular, he explores the sourcing of external knowledge by firms and this practice’s impact on a company’s innovation strategy. Lenox has a longstanding interest in the interface between business strategy and public policy as it relates to the natural environment; his work explores firm strategies and nontraditional public policies that have the potential to drive green innovation and entrepreneurship.

In 2013, Lenox co-authored The Strategist’s Toolkit with Darden Professor Jared Harris. His latest book, Can Business Save the Earth? Innovating Our Way to Sustainability, examines how innovation and action from multiple stakeholders may address the environmental crisis.

B.S., M.S., University of Virginia; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology