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Kristian Russell Talks Ferry Auto, Leasing, & More on CleanTech Talk

What do you get when you hire an artist to re-imagine the car-buying process? Find out here.

A few weeks ago, Zachary and I mentioned how the buying preferences of Millenials and Zoomers differ from those of Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers (to be fair, Gen X-ers don’t care), and how an app designed by an artist friend of mine, Kristian Russell, really spoke to some of the ideas we were talking about. Kristian was kind enough to set aside some time for us and talk about his app, its UI-first design approach, the community that inspired it, and how it differs from the conventional dealer model.

Why is all this important? The car market is changing. Currently, only 3% of car purchases are made online, the dealers are getting fat on profits, and people are getting sick of their antics and BS markups. A solution like Ferry, which quickly and clearly presents a number of options with transparent terms without the need to visit a dealership at all might appeal to a lot of buyers … of any generation!

You can check out the full episode below, and see if you think this artist’s UI-first approach to solving the problems of the auto industry would work for you. We’ll look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments!

Ferry’s Kristian Russell on EV Subscriptions, the Market, and Dealers

We mention that Kristian has a lot of ideas about EVs and the automotive marketplace that we could spend a whole show on but don’t. One of those is an idea he calls “the Ferry Curve” (as in Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche), which talks about rapid adoption of e-mobility and how the EV industry might catalyze a “new Moore’s law” of battery and charging tech. You can read a bit about that — and check out some his automotive design work — at this link.

Ferry launched last October, and is still in the earliest phases of startup starting up. I first had the chance to talk to Kristian at the Electrify Expo in Austin, where the concept of short-term leasing — as short as six months — totally blew my mind. You can listen to that interview here.

We mention that name, “Ferry.” It’s a great name, in the sense that “Ferry” will help get you from an internal combustion vehicle to an EV without forcing you into a long-term commitment … but it’s also a nod to the Porsche/Piëch automotive family, who quite literally have a seat on the Ferry board, in the form of Toni Piëch.

We mention that Ferry is only available in Austin, TX … for now. Texas has some of the strictest franchise laws in America, and “getting it right” in Texas will make it easier for the company to eventually expand elsewhere.

Finally, Kristian refers to EVs as a sort of “new i-device,” that some people will want to update as often as possible. There’s a lot of different views on that, but one thing is sure: if you want to keep your EV long term, a lot of the data indicates that you can expect a long service life from your car’s batteries.

You can click “play” on the Spotify player plugin above to hear the episode, or you can listen on AnchorApple Podcasts/iTunesBreakerGoogle PodcastsOvercastPocketPodbeanRadio PublicSpotify, or Stitcher.

 
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I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.

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