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On Tuesday, twenty eight leading companies, including Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), PG&E Corporation, and Uber (NYSE:UBER) joined forces to create ZETA--the Zero Emission Transportation Association. The organization’s stated goal is to push for 100 percent electric vehicle sales by 2030.

Normally, the formation of yet another Washington, D.C.--based trade group wouldn’t elicit so much as a yawn, but this one did pique my interest. If you are a long-term investor, it should pique yours as well. Here’s why.

Last week, the CEO of Daimler (OTC:DMLR.Y), Ola Kaellenius made a startling statement that ought to have captured the attention of every investor. He said that within “[t]he next five years we will become a smaller company.”

In a normal world, you might think that such a proclamation would have sent serious investors scurrying for the door. Of course, we are not living in a normal world anymore.

The pandemic aside, companies around the world are waking up to the need to take the issue of sustainability seriously. No longer can this trend be treated with corporate “green-washing” tactics or producing niche products for environmentally-conscious consumers. Instead, it is about their long-term survival as a company.

The growing weight of scientific evidence over the transportation industry’s role in carbon emissions and climate-related change, together with impressive technological advances in both battery longevity and battery storage are converging to create a powerful “pull-push” dynamic toward the electrification of the transportation industry.

The creation of ZETA is unlikely to achieve its stated goal of 100 percent electric vehicle sales by 2030, but it will serve as a political lubricant to the previously mentioned scientific/technological dynamic and it is one that serious long-term investors should heed.

Interested in other Foolish articles on the electrification of the auto industry? Check out this one:

Daimler Plans Marks Historic Shift to Electric Vehicles.

Jack Uldrich is a leading global futurist and best-selling author. His latest book is Business as Unusual: A Futurist’s Unorthodox, Unconventional, and Uncomfortable Guide to Doing Business. (RiverGrove 2020) He does not own stock in any of the companies mentioned in this article.
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