A Better Place
August 20, 2008 8:33 PM Subscribe
Shai Agassi's Audacious Plan to Put Electric Cars on the Road. Now it's Agassi's turn. He starts off uncharacteristically nervous, stammering a bit. He's got something different, he says. A new approach. He believes it just might be possible to get the entire world off oil. For good. Point by point, gaining speed as he goes, he shares for the first time in public the ideas that will change his future—and possibly the world's.
posted by destrius (68 comments total)
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Shai Agassi plans to remake the automotive world with a new business model. Taking a cue from the way the mobile phone industry works, he wants to make electric cars cheap and even free, and then charge consumers for the electricity used, analogous to airtime charges. Batteries will be decoupled from the car and owned by his company and not the consumer.
All this attempts to solve the problem
of electric cars taking too long to recharge and not being able to travel longer distances. With a large-scale infrastructure of charging stations, drivers can charge their vehicle just about anywhere, and when they need extra juice they can drive up to a battery changing station to get a fully charged battery in minimal time. Software will also be a big component of the system, carefully managing the car's use of electricity to make sure it gets replaced before it runs out.
So far he has two countries
willing to beta-test for him, a lot of capital, a single car, but not much else to show for it.