A Better Place for the Electric Car

Lise Buyer discovers Shai Agassi's Better Place electric car business concept.

Published: 02-Jan-2009

My guess is that most readers of this column would prefer to be in a better place.

It's been a tough year in so many ways that one can't help but hope for some small improvements in something, presumably economic, in the new year ahead.

And in the spirit of finishing one year and starting another, regardless of the challenges we face, it seems appropriate to write about an audacious Silicon Valley start-up with some very big, very hopeful plans.


Powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries and two 67bhp (50kW) electric motors to drive the front and rear axles, the Mixim is a four-wheel-drive car with a theoretical top speed of 112mph and a potential maximum range of 156 miles.

Dodge ZEO is 2+2 electric muscle car for the 21st century powered by 200kW electric drive with 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and range of 250 miles.

The Air Car may do better than fuel-cell cars, but experts say that using grid power to charge a battery-powered electric vehicle is much more efficient than using electricity to compress and store the same amount of energy in a tank.


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