One of my favorite sessions at the recent Web 2.0 summit was Tim’s half-hour conversation with Shai Agassi, the CEO of Better Place. Better Place aims to make electric cars widespread (“the electric car as the de facto standard”) by addressing major issues that have held back electric vehicles: affordability and convenience.
In a relaxed conversation with Tim, Shai described an electric car industry that resembles the mobile phone business. Just as telecom companies sell mobile handsets at a discount if one is willing to commit to a contract, their subscription-based model will allow consumers to purchase an electric car at the fraction of the normal price. Car owners will pay additional fees based on the amount of miles they drive and the type of car they choose to own. To support their subscribers, Better Place will also build extensive networks of charging spots and battery exchange stations. They will build the first “Electric Recharge Grids” in Israel and Denmark.
Prior to starting Better Place, Shai was a president at software vendor SAP. The interview briefly touches on IT and enterprise computing.
[NOTE: Web 2.0 summit videos are available on YouTube.]