PRI (Public Radio International) produced an interesting segment on an innovated business plan by entrepreneur Shai Agassi. Agassi, who is the president of Betterplace, wants to start marketing and selling electric cars in a fashion similar to the way we purchase and use cell phones.
“The way this would work is, basically, you would get your car through Shai’s company. He doesn’t make the cars. He only works with the car companies to make sure that they have cars that work on his standards. He buys the batteries and then you buy an electric car from him. You buy a plan. You get a certain number of miles per month that you can drive or you get an unlimited plan – it’s just like buying a cell phone.
“(Agassi) thinks that he needs – at least in Israel – he says he needs one charging spot for every six parking spots in the country. That’s how he has decided that you’ll feel like you have ubiquitous charging. And he’s making sure that these cars have a PC inside of them to figure out where the closest charging spots are, when you need to get charged, whether you can make it or not
My immediate response is that this is a great idea. It an easy way to take on oil companies and it is done so in a way that everyone is familiar with. I do wonder if this business model will encourage people to replace cars every two years or feel as if they can just throw away their car when they are bored with it. Regardless, I am still hopeful, I am up for almost anything that would be more environmental friendly and that will help us reduce out dependency on oil.
The cars are going to be tested in Isreal first and then move to the Netherlands and Australia. I hope they make their way to the USA.