Considering his visions, some say that Shai Agassi is Israel’s T. Boone Pickens. If the Texas oilman is trying to switch to wind power as the next big thing, the 40 year old Israeli software whiz kid, is obsessed with making his country the world’s leader in electric cars.
Agassi, has an Israeli government-backed plan that runs through his company Better Place, which plans to create an electric car program that will give subscribers access to a car, a battery, outlets across the country and garages to swap the dead batteries with fresh ones.
The program is somehow similar to mobile-phone services but instead of buying minutes each month, you get miles. Monthly miles.
Better Place already secured enough solar energy from Israeli companies – some 2 gigawatts over 10 years to power their whole fleet (~2 million cars), and the whole project is set to start with 500 prototype electric cars by Renault.
“Israel will have the world’s first virtual oilfield in the Negev Desert,” said Agassi.
His dream is to build the project and come up with a cheap and trivial electric vehicle, to the level where people wouldn’t even consider buying a gasoline car. And he could be right. We pay some $600 a month for gasoline in Europe, so if he can offer his car for $600 a month with enough miles included, no other costs for fuel, no extra charges and no CO2 emissions, like many others I will be in.
Trying to reduce the global warming effects and thanks to high oil prices, the energy revolution have just began and spurred researchers and investors to move into clean energy.
I’ll keep an eye on Shai Agassi and tell you what’s going on with his project.
Image courtesy of eirikso