Shai Agassi has electrified the Israeli government and also the world. The entrepreneur has proposed that Israel — and everyone else (no less) — adopt his new vision: marketing electric cars like cellular phones.
Instead of investing big bucks in a new car, Agassi has developed a business plan and company (Project Better Place) modeled after the cellular phone business — where the more an owner uses a car (measured by hours at a recharging station) the less the vehicle will cost to buy.
Agassi aims to create a new infrastructure that will support vehicles on a country-by-country basis to jump-start the mass adoption of electric cars. â€¨â€¨
"We have crossed a historic threshold where electricity and batteries provide a cheaper alternative for consumers," said Agassi in a statement... "Existing technology, coupled with the right business model and a scalable infrastructure can provide an immediate solution and significantly decrease carbon emissions."
The Israel government has recently given a vote of confidence in support of his dream.
In order to succeed, some 500,000 refueling stations will need to be built in Israel; and for long trips greater than 200 km, Agassi proposes a robotic system that will replace the battery with a charged one.
Since the cost of a battery can be anywhere from $10, 000 — 20,000, the idea includes leasing batteries to users for a monthly fee. Compared to the average $250 a month Israelis spend on gas, Agassi's planned costs will make oil barons nervous: fuel costs, he predicts will amount to about $80 a year.