GUEST: Author, energy analyst, Quartz correspondent Steve LeVine
ALSO: Paul Ryan 'will not' run; And more news from 'Discrimination Nation'....
By Brad Friedman on 4/12/2016, 5:06pm PT  

Today on The BradCast, we take a brief if blessed break from 2016 Presidential politics madness (mostly) to look at what could be a moment, last week, when everything changed, though few may have actually noticed.

But first, Republican U.S. House Paul Ryan absolutely, positively, definitely (maybe) says he will not run for President and we have a number of updates from 'Discrimination Nation' where Republicans just can't seem to get it through their thick skulls that the "free market" really doesn't like that they continue to pass discriminatory, anti-LGBT laws. North Carolina's Governor is now scrambling to make changes (sort of) to his state's new pro-discrimination law, even as Tennessee is enacting their own, which arguably goes even further.

Then, Steve LeVine, energy analyst, Washington correspondent for Quartz and author of The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World, joins us to discuss what may well be the "iPhone Moment" --- or, "Nokiafication", if you prefer --- of the auto industry, in the wake of the introduction of Tesla's Model 3 last week and the thousands around the world who lined up overnight to purchase it before they had even seen it.

While LeVine reports that other automakers are still downplaying what just happened, the unprecedented pre-sales of this new, all-electric car (which will offer more than 200 miles on a single charge and won't even be available until late 2017 at the earliest), suggests this may be a moment akin to when Nokia, once a cellphone goliath, suddenly disintegrated, virtually overnight, after the introduction of Apple's iPhone. By "getting people lined around the block and 115,000 orders sight unseen --- and then, once people saw the car, another 200,000 orders," Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk "demonstrated there is a very sizable group of people in the world who are prepared to pay $35,000 for an electric car. This was notice to the whole industry that the incumbent car companies who, themselves, even now, are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see whether Musk will pull this off --- they could end up like Nokia."

"Hello! 325,000 orders!," LeVine observes, adding "there's going to be blood on the floor" for those companies that don't take quick action to respond to a market inflection point that may now finally be occurring. He also explains, however, that Musk could still blow it, before we then move to the "momentous geo-political shift" that will soon occur with the proliferation of battery-powered vehicles and a world beyond petro-dollars.

"Oil has made the world go around now, literally, for 150 years...But, hang on to your hats!," he warns. Countries whose influence is built on oil could see "their whole economic and power structure pulled out right from under them. It's going to be fascinating to watch."

Finally, in a brief return to 'Discrimination Nation', we close with President Obama's designation today of the nation's newest national monument honoring women's suffrage and 'Equal Pay Day'.


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