Monday, October 29, 2007

Imagining a "Better Place" with All Electric Vehicles

From the New York Times:

Shai Agassi, a Silicon Valley technologist who was in competition to become chief executive of SAP, one of the world’s largest software companies, has re-emerged with a grand plan to reinvent the world’s automobile industry around battery-powered all-electric cars.

Others are developing green cars, like the Tesla and Chevrolet Volt. However, Mr. Agassi is not planning to make cars, but instead wants to deploy an infrastructure of battery-charging stations in the United States, Europe and the developing world.

The new system will sell electric fuel on a subscription basis and will subsidize vehicle costs through leases and credits.

“We’re basically saying this is just like the cellular phone model,” he said. “If you think of Tesla as the iPhone, we’re AT&T.”
Very, very interesting. Here's another passage that caught my eye:
The economics will be more compelling in Europe, where gasoline is roughly twice as expensive as in the United States, he said. Assuming a life span of 1,500 battery recharges, he said that the energy cost of all-electric cars would be about 7 cents a mile. That would be less than a third of the cost of driving a gasoline-powered car today.

“It’s much easier to transport electrons than octane molecules,” he said. “We’ve already got a grid that goes around the entire world; all we have to do is extend it.”
It's called Project Better Place, at least for now. More here, from Business Week. Sounds like something we might all want to keep an eye on. After all, where is this venture going to get its emission-free electricity from?

For more on Aggasi, click here. To read his blog, click here. More later.

UPDATE: FuturePundit has some thoughts.

No comments: