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Posts tagged “Shai Agasi”

By Andrew Holland on Mar 26, 2012 with 11 responses

The Better Place Model for Electric Vehicles

Battery Cost and Range Anxiety

Last week, when I was in Denmark, I visited the Better Place showroom just outside of Copenhagen. Better Place is a new company founded in 2007 to provide customers with the opportunity to drive clean electric vehicles. Founder Shai Agassi identified that the combination of oil dependence and climate-inducing emissions were fatal flaws in our transportation system, and that the traditional auto companies could not solve these problems.

Better Place is the result of this project. It is an ambitious effort to not just make an electric car — companies like Chevrolet, Nissan, and Renault are already doing that around the world — but to interlink the electric vehicle into a new, emissions free transport and energy system. The concept is as follows: A customer walks into a showroom and purchases a car (today, only Renault Fluences are available, but more are coming). He then will sign a contract with Better Place for however many miles he drives per year, and Better Place will provide him with a battery and all the electricity he needs for that. Unlike cars such as the Chevrolet Volt or the Nissan Leaf, the initial purchase price of the car is less because the cost does not include the battery. The model is much like when you buy a mobile phone; you buy the phone from Apple or Nokia and then sign up for a service contract from AT&T or Verizon.