The electric car is poised to upend the auto industry

It will be cheaper and easier to manufacture and service these vehicles meaning there will be more and smaller players, says Christoph Bornschein of TLGG

5th September, 2017
Christoph Bornschein, CEO of TLGG

What's your name?

Christoph Bornschein

What’s your current job?

CEO, TLGG GmbH

How long have you held the position?

Since TLGG’s foundation in 2008.

Can you describe your daily work routine?

On any given day I will meet partners and clients, spend time on airplanes and in taxis, answer a lot of emails, check my phone often, read and talk and listen a lot. It’s really a series of interesting meetings under varying conditions.

What is your professional background?

I started my first online marketing company fresh out of school in the early 2000s and I have worked and talked and listened and ideated my way up the command chain ever since, following in the footsteps of digitalisation and business innovation. When my two partners and I founded TLGG, we were the first social media agency in Germany. Today, you will find our work all across the value chain, advising global corporations on digital change, risks and opportunities. I also studied law for a while, but that was really just a phase.

Tell me about yourself away from work?

I am never that far away from work, really. But I do take great personal joy in my work. It takes me around the world, introduces me to great people and great ideas, and lets me have lunch at really amazing places.

Tell us something very few people know about you?

Something very few people know about me but I would feel comfortable to reveal publicly? Cheesy romcoms make me cry. They really do. Glad I don’t get to watch them all that often.

You are speaking at the forthcoming Electric Vehicle Summit in Dublin. What is the focus of your talk?

The problem with the way most people talk about e-mobility is a common problem when talking about fundamental changes: We tend to assume that one big thing changes fundamentally while everything else remains in place. The electric car, however, is poised to upend the automotive industry as a whole – and a few other industries in passing. It will be cheaper and easier to manufacture and service, there will be more and smaller players. I’m going to point out some of these changes and what we need to do about them.

What do you see as the main challenges ahead for electric vehicle penetration?

The first is, of course, the old problem of the chicken and the egg. The infrastructure needed for widespread e-mobility adoption is not profitable without widespread e-mobility adoption. The second problem ties into that: There is still no viable business model for a charging station operator. This is a market that is still in the early stages of development and it will take years and billions of investments to turn it into something profitable. How can we incentivise companies to develop, experiment and invest?

What innovations do you envisage will be developed over the next 10 years for electric vehicles?

In concurrence with the development of autonomous vehicles, the whole concept of what makes a car will be under scrutiny and constant innovation. The same holds true for the car’s individual parts. E-mobility changes how engines work, Continental have presented their new wheel concept, new ideas on passenger space, navigation, traffic control are being discussed. What innovations do I think will be developed? All of them.

Christoph Bornschein will be giving an address at the Electric Vehicle Summit 2017 on October 4 at Croke Park in Dublin. For more information and tickets for this event please visit: EVSummit.ie

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