Saturday, March 21, 2009

Electric Cars for All! (No, Really This Time)---and by 2011

From the Desk of David Pogue - Electric Cars for All! (No, Really This Time) -

We started from the infrastructure. We came up with an electric car that would have two features that nobody had before. 1) The battery is removable. So if you wanted to go a long distance, you could switch your battery instead of waiting for it to charge for a very long time.

And 2) It was cheaper than gasoline car, not more expensive. Because you didn't buy the battery. You paid just for the miles and for the car.

DP: So what will you guys make? What will you do?

SA: We sell miles, the way that AT&T sells you minutes. They buy bandwidth and they translate into minutes. We buy batteries and clean electrons--we only buy electrons that come from renewable sources--and we translate that into miles.

DP: What are we talking about here? What's the infrastructure you're building?

SA: We have two pieces of infrastructure. 1) Charge spots. And they will be everywhere, like parking meters, only instead of taking money from you when you park, they give you electrons. And they will be at home, they'll be at work, they'll be at downtown and retail centers. As if you have a magic contract with Chevron or Exxon that every time you stop your car and go away, they fill it up.

Now, that gives us the ability to drive most of our drives, sort of a 100-mile radius. And that's most of the drives we do. But we also take care of the exceptional drive. You want to go from Boston to New York. And so on the way, we have what we call switch stations: lanes inside gas stations. You go into the switch station, your depleted battery comes out, a full battery comes in, and you keep driving. It takes you about two, three minutes--less than filling with gasoline--and you can keep on going.

Read the whole amazing story...

Watch the David Pogue video:


At 3/21/09, 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shai Agassi! He was one of the keynote speakers at our Copenhagen conference. He's very much the sort of thing we wanted to talk about because to make his model work you have to make innovations in technology, business model, AND policy all at once.



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