Shouldn't We Be Paying Attention to Shai Agassi?

Davey G. Johnson wonders why more of us aren't listening to what Better Place founder Shai Agassi is saying and doing in the making electric vehicles really practical.

Published: 05-Feb-2012

Some people spend a lot of time lamenting that early in the last century, electric vehicles lost the race to petroleum-fueled models, that the past somehow irrevocably broke the future.

The fact of the matter is, the future isn't broken. It will just be different, as the future always is. Our mobility choices only about a century and a quarter ago, when Gottlieb Daimler unveiled his Patent-Motorwagen, were radically different from what they are now. In the future, they will be different still. Perhaps not as whiz-bang swell as Marty McFly's hoverboard, but certainly different.

Elon Musk, of course, believes that the future belongs to the battery-electric vehicle. I remember being at the unveiling of the Tesla Roadster at the Santa Monica airport back in the summer of 2006 and thinking to myself, “If everything they say about this car is true, they've really done it--they've addressed the fears and built something viable here.”


Renault Fluence ZE electric car with swappable batteries  to be part of service program.

Service contracts, which include Renault Fluence Z.E., will range from $280 to $560 a month depending on the miles driven.

Better Place charging station will automatically swap the car's battery.

About 10,000 people signed an “interested” list for Renault-built Fluence ZE electric cars in Israel.

Renault Fluence Z.E. electric car.

Renault Fluence Z.E. will sell in Israel for equivalent of just under $35,000US with service plans starting at $309US.


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