Well, BCI sure has gone digital— the only analogue service was Ann Noll and her ‘ring out your dead’ bell. I remember Michael Mayer of ELBC fame in a similar role but that’s another story.
Yeah the App did it for me. I knew when the coffee breaks were coming because I got a message. I knew about the schedule, all there on my phone. Next year there will no doubt be an ‘in-App’ dating module so you can hook up with locals who want to talk ‘dirty’ about batteries.
Will the BCI App tell me when it is game over?
Because for the first time at BCI’s annual bash, there was genuine fear about what I’ve been banging on about for years— the lithium threat. Just like the latest incarnation of Pan European fascism, lithium has got teeth to take the SLI Market. Li-ion can work in the SLI market because it can cold crank at -40Cº.
It was all that was needed. It must be my ancestry— you don’t wait for them to start building death camps before you take the first flight out of the country, you find out where they’re going to build them!
The lithium guys are more than hungry— they have the desperation of refugees and they will take any road to eat your lunch, it’s battery blitzkrieg. Yes, innovation is important. Disruptive marketing… yes I’ll buy that. But so is a healthy dose of paranoia. You need over-the-horizon radar to spot threats from a long way off. Complacency has been the lead industry’s stance for too long. Frankly, a PR and lobbying campaign at this stage is no more than Neville Chamberlain coming back from Munich with a piece of paper. You’re at war!
Lead-acid as smart? Please, I’ll buy value, budget and even green, but smart? No. It’s smart when I see a system, a package with control and installation and even finance all in place with a proper marketing strategy. And a planned fight-back. BCI is on the wrong continent for that but as David Cameron said: “we’re all in this together.” Are we? No. Check out some of the Generals. Churchill fired some of his. We need to do the same.
Should we apportion blame? Yes. You can’t stop progress but you shouldn’t make it easy for your competition. The lithium industry bought into a handy communication channel through to Brussels— Eurobat— who’ve pumped a steady stream of pre-digested information on batteries for the uninformed. You were warned. Others have been asleep on the job and failed to read the intelligence. Have you worked it out yet? Answers to Gerry@bestmag.co.uk. And work out a suitable punishment.