Contrary to reservations being made about the Better Place electric car company being a monopoly in Israel’s upcoming electric car market, it now appears that the head of one of the country’s largest holding companies, the Israel Corporation, is very positive concerning the future of electric cars in Israel and other countries. Favorable remarks in regards to electric cars were made recently by Israel Corps.’ CEO, Nir Gilad, in an interview with Globes Financial News.
Gilad told Globes that he expects these cars to be “commercially on the roads” by the year 2012. He notes that the company largely responsible for this occurring, Better Place LLC, is on the “fast track” in setting up the infrastructure needed for running these cars on Israel’s motorways.
Nir Gilad believes that these cars are the trend for the future; and that every leading car maker has announced plans to offer their versions of electric cars. When Globe’s reported told Gilad that “The cow called Better Place has eaten a lot of grass and when will it be time to ‘milk it’ Gilad replied:
“If we put your cynicism aside for a moment and discuss the issue seriously, on the basis of your allegory, in 2006 when we just began to talk about electric cars, we looked more like a Mad Cow. Today, every leading global carmaker has announced the production of electric cars.”
The Israel Corporation CEO went on to say that the fact that China is planning for ”all cars to have electric motors within the coming decades.” That fact that an emerging consumer giant like China, with a large automobile manufacturing company, Chery Automobile Manufacturing Company Ltd , agreeing to work with Better Place, it will be only a matter of time before these cars will not only be commonplace on the roads of Israel, but in countries like China as well.
Besides Better Place, whose technology is currently centered around cars being produced the French automobile giant Renault-Nissan , other electric car automakers include Ford (with its electric powered Focus model and other designs), and the American auto giant General Motors. The year 2011 will be one involving extensive testing of the Better Place cars in Israel and other countries like Denmark.
According to Gilad, Better Place has picked up the pace of its R&D (research and development); causing company to lose some $32 million for the third quarter of 2010. But this is to be expected, in order to educate the public concerning the advantages of these cars, he says.
Taking Gilad’s remarks into proper context, it must be noted, however, that the Israel Corporation is one of the major investors in Better Place LLC.
The Better Place “education” process includes inviting the general public to take a test drive in one of these cars at their Educational and Test Drive Center outside Tel Aviv, as this writer did.
Better Place LLC guru and founder Shai Agassi was recently ranked No. 28 in Foreign Policy Magazine’s top 100 world thinkers which clearly indicates the importance of his company’s electric car infrastructure innovations.
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