web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » Blogs

Even Without Shai Agassi, Better Place Offers a Great Deal

Despite press attention, Better Place has not told a competent story to Israelis.
Better Place founder Shai Agassi.

Better Place founder Shai Agassi.
Photo Credit: David Terrar

I’m also not privy to the internal financial discussions or the status of the company. I do take slight umbrage when the press talk all about losses and don’t seem to make any allowance for investment. It’s completely normal for an infrastructure company such as this to spend a huge amount of money before getting any back! Just think what it costs to build an entire cell phone network before you make the first call! Are Vodafone or AT&T profitable? They invested huge sums in a network before they got any back.

The difference is that both those companies had other businesses that were ongoing and profitable while they invested for the future. Now they’re spending billions on 4G networks but they’re fortunate to have ongoing profitable business to cover the investment.

My Daily Driving Distance Distribution: How Many Days do I Drive a Given Distance? (km)

EVs Are The Future

There’s no doubt in my mind that within a few years or a decade the world will be transitioning to electrically driven cars. Whether the source of the electricity is a battery (my car), a battery and a petrol engine (Chevy Volt, Plug In Prius) or a hydrogen powered fuel cell (very unlikely in my opinion) the common element is an electric motor driving the wheels. Once you’ve driven a car set up this way you’ll understand why. This Huffington Post article is a pretty good summary (missing only one point – smart grids). John Voelcker’s article here in Green Car Reports is also excellent.

And no matter who’s proposing an alternative to battery switching, be it Tesla’s fast chargers or a Renault Zoe with fancy on board systems to accept very high electric current, nobody is close to the speed of refuelling I get at a switch station. Five minutes gives me 140km. The best anybody else will offer (Tesla with a $100,000 car) is 240km in 30 minutes. So Better Place’s rate is 28km/minute. Tesla’s is 8km/minute. And when batteries get bigger and the robots are pushed faster, Better Place’s refuel rate will go up and Tesla’s will stay largely the same.

Smart Grid

The point missed in the HuffPo article is what a managed system of electric car batteries can mean for a national electricity grid. This is part of what is called the “smart grid.” Better Place has the only significant managed network or smart grid of car batteries than can be used to store cheap or wasted overnight electricity. This is a huge issue and will be massively important as we move from burning fossils over which we have some control of the rate of burning, to renewable sources like wind and solar which blow or shine without any control from us.

This aspect of Better Place is much more strategic than most of the short sighted articles that are damning them as a failure today. It could even be one day this overnight storage of large amounts of renewable energy is so profitable that the company makes more from that and only breaks even on the driving aspects of the business.

Better Place’s Future

I’m not a completely disinterested observer and, when writing here at Israellycool, I’m not pretending to be a journalist. I’m an advocate for Better Place because I like the car, I like the system and I want it to succeed. Beyond that I have an obvious financial stake in the success or at least continued ongoing operation of the company.

There are also machinations in Europe and stories about why they opened a taxi trial in Amsterdam. I’m not an insider and don’t know the details. I don’t know much about the relationship with Renault and the prospect for other models, like the new smaller Zoe, to be brought to Israel or Denmark in battery switching form.

It may well be that Shai Agassi, having done a brilliant job in getting so much built and raise so much money to do it, is not the right guy to run the company today. I don’t know. The insiders I’ve spoken to, who have been there from the very start with Shai, are sad about the move, but optimistic about Evan. Only time will tell. I have heard from a number of sources that the company’s astonishingly high level of customer service flows directly from the wishes and will of Shai and for that he is a master.

About the Author: Brian of London regularly blogs at Israellycool.com about life in Israel, technology & business topics. He made aliyah from the UK to Israel in 2009, and owns and operates his own import company in Israel with more than 15 staff.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Even Without Shai Agassi, Better Place Offers a Great Deal”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Israel Shield Logo
Current Top Story
Does this look like a pro-Israel group?
Minnesota Univ. Student Official Compares Group Backing Israel with KKK
Latest Blogs Stories
Worshipers were cut down as they prayed

It’s clear that Obama equates Israelis and Arabs as equal sufferers of “violence.”

Ferguson, Missouri: rioting against racism, encouraging murder

The malicious manipulation of frustrated fury is surely as egregious as merely perceived racism.

About 7 in 10 Americans view Israel favorably – making Israel the only positively viewed Middle East country. But the younger Americans get, the more they like some Arab countries.

Undoubtedly, once he’s “former president Obama” he’ll join anti-Israel Jimmy Carter against Israel.

train track grafitti

The silly people on the left have created a new campaign to try and force the rest of the country to capitulate to their suicidal fantasies, this time by riding trains and imposing themselves onto other people’s conferences.

Find out how to set goals and take better care of your finances.

As events over the last couple of weeks amply demonstrate, the status quo isn’t working out either

Australian Ambassador to Israel ran to the hospital in J’m to visit the wounded and to donate blood

Those celebrating violence with “No Justice No Peace” signs are opposed to both justice and peace.

Pop quiz: The shortest book ever written? “Palestinian History and Positive Contributions” text book

We are the continuing generations from our Father Avraham who was given this Land by our L-rd.

When a country supports ($) the PA or Gaza or “recognizes,” “Palestine,” they promoting terrorism.

There is no question whatsoever that Odeh was behind the fatal bombing of a SuperSol market in 1969

As we Jews returned to the Holy Land and prayed at our holy sites, forces fighting holiness came too

Channel 10 TV published on Sunday a poll they commissioned asking Israeli Arabs a rather straightforward but important question:

Today”s discussion: “The effects of current geopolitical situation around the world on investing.”

According to PM Netanyahu, the bill would enshrine full equality under law to all Israeli citizens.

More Articles from Brian of London
Better Place founder Shai Agassi.

On Monday, electric car company Better Place announced that Shai Agassi, up to now the face and driving force behind Better Place, was stepping back from his CEO rôle and would continue on as a member of the board and major shareholder. Evan Thornley, Better Place’s CEO in Australia, is stepping up to the global rôle. The news seemed to come out of the blue.

Better Place electric car dealership

If Israeli electric car company, Better Place, only gave the world an electric car that could switch an empty battery for a full one in five minutes that would have been enough! But Better Place is also the key to making renewable energy production practical all over the world. Dai aynu!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/even-without-shai-agassi-better-place-offers-a-great-deal/2012/10/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: