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China’s Auto Export Wave Echoes Japan’s in the ’70s

June 4, 2023


Revolutions in transportation are rare and can define epochs. This has been true since men figured out how to ride horses (6,000 years ago) and to construct vehicles with wheels (just over 5,000 years ago).

How did the steam engine change the world? A lot. How did the internal combustion engine change the world? A lot. So how will battery-powered electric vehicles change the world? Probably a lot—but, if history is our guide, not necessarily in the ways we now anticipate.

Niall Ferguson is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the author, most recently, of “Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe.” He is the founder of Greenmantle, an advisory firm, FourWinds Research, Hunting Tower, a venture capital partnership, and the filmmaker Chimerica Media. @nfergus

Originally published in Bloomberg.

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