With the aura of an evangelist, Israel’s Shai Agassi is moving full steam ahead to revolutionize the electric car market, with Project Better Place. Essentially borrowing the model from the cellular market, Agassi plans to create a new electric car paradigm, where you switch batteries and pay for the lease of the battery (like minutes on the phone), rather than the device itself.
Earlier, in August, he was featured in Wired magazine (read the long article Shai Agassi’s Audacious Plan to Put Electric Cars on the Road here), which we’ve just got around to posting about now.
Now I’ve posted some of my thoughts about the electric car on the The Huffington Post, later picked up by the Green Autoblog. While everyone is going gaga over Agassi, I think it’s wise for a few critics out there to voice their concerns. It seems that Agassi’s plan is an inevitability, so I hope my concerns might help the company build their project with a little more of the environment in mind.
A few questions:
Do we really more and cheaper cars on the road?
What energy source is fueling the battery power packs in Agassi’s cars?
Do we really have the real estate in Israel to create new battery-swapping stations?
The cart before the horse
I think that the electric car project, though admirable in its vision and ability to convince opinion leaders to adopt it in Israel, Denmark, and elsewhere, I think it’s a little bit like putting the cart before the horse. We need the world to band together to create serious and sound renewable energy sources first. If we don’t, and sorry to be a doomsday prophet, I think electric cars will be irrelevant (see the post about a site Green Prophet is sponsoring: 100 Months).
The Wired illustration of how Agassi’s electric car will work:
(image credit Wired)