In a strong indication that he and his company are definitely on the world economic map, Better Place electric car company head Shai Agassi, together with Israel Minister for Industry, Trade and Labor Binyamin Ben-Eliezar attended the annual World Economic Forum Summer Meeting, held this year in Tianjin China. The 3 day forum, known also as the “Summer Davos” conference, in reference to the February conference held annually in Davos, Switzerland, was attended by over 1,300 delegates from 85 countries as reported in Israel’s Globes financial newspaper. Choosing Asia as the venue for this conference intended to promote “driving growth through sustainability.” As the only Israeli corporate head formerly attending the conference, Agassi and his electric car battery exchange infrastructure concept, appeared to be an excellent choice for a conference in which science and technology “will create new value from business models for future markets; thus facilitating economic and social change.” Better Place appears to meet these business criteria, especially since it portrays itself to be a future-minded company that is creating an electric car infrastructure that may very well revolutionize not only the world auto industry, but the way that much of the industrial world gets around.
The World Economic Forum provides a platform for young, dynamic leaders, such as Agassi, to promote their ideas and concepts. China is an ideal location due to being the fastest growing economy in the world. In the case of Better Place, the fact the Mr. Agassi cut a deal with one of China’s largest automobile manufacturing companies, Chery Automobile Manufacturing Co. Ltd, gave Mr. Agassi an even greater reason to rub elbows with other upcoming corporate gurus. In an economic climate where many companies have suffered due to lack of working capital, Agassi’s Better Place has so far been able to raise substantial amounts of cash despite the fact that his electric cars and battery exchange stations have not yet gone beyond the testing stage.
Agassi appears to have done his homework well, and has meticulously laid the groundwork for establishing an electric car infrastructure, even creating what many critics consider to be an infrastructure monopoly in countries like Israel and Denmark. Perhaps this is because Agassi went about doing this while other electric car innovators did not, including GM.
No matter. If all works out according to plan, Mr. Agassi is going to wind up being a very wealthy man. His concepts could well create for him a status that hasn’t been seen in the world auto industry since Henry Ford devised the assembly line to put his Model T’s together. How’s that for a young man who came from humble origins, armed with nothing more than sheer Israeli “chutzpah” and a clear vision of helping to create a better and cleaner world?
:: Better Place
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