It’s the infrastructure, stupid!

/ 20 March 2009

Maybe we’ve been thinking about electric cars backwards. Shai Agassi of Better Place sure thinks so. He tells David Pogue:

Most of the car efforts were done from within the car, and assuming that there is no infrastructure change at all. It’s as if people were trying to build cars, but skipping over the gas station.

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.

His interview with Pogue is fascinating. Israel, Denmark, and Hawaii will be giving this a go within three years. The San Francisco Bay Area is getting very serious about building this infrastructure. I wonder if the Twin Cities or state of Minnesota could make a run for it? Talk about stimulus!

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