Business Model Challenges: The Electric Vehicle Company

Research output: Other contributionEducation


Electric vehicles have been 'the next big trend' for more than 100 years. The first commercially viable electric car was available in the 1890s but failed to become the dominant design. The case chronicles the development of the Electric Vehicle Company (EVC), founded in 1896, which by the turn of the century was the largest manufacturer and user of electric vehicles in the United States. Students evaluate the competition between the three different available engine technologies (gas, electric and steam) and their value propositions. Applying the Business Model Canvas, they explore the misfit between the immature technology and the ambitious sales strategy of EVC. The case guides students in designing a turnaround plan, which addresses many of the challenges that electric car companies, such as Tesla, struggle with today.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date20 Jan 2020
Place of PublicationLos Angeles, CA
PublisherUSC-Marshall/Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2020
SeriesHistorical Entrepreneurship Case Series

Bibliographical note

Case - Reference no. SCG-566.


  • Innovation & entrepreneurship
  • Business plans
  • Start-up
  • Business model generation
  • Business model innovation
  • Value proposition
  • Competition
  • Business history
  • History of capitalism

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