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Posts Tagged ‘cars’

Natural Gas in Israel – the Promise of Energy Independence

Friday, November 9th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by Tamir Druz, the CEO of Israel CNG to discuss massive natural gas fields recently discovered in Israel. They talk about the discovery of the fields along with the potential uses for clean natural gas including its use in cars and buses throughout Israel.  Don’t miss this segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Fuel Tanker Explodes in Saudi Arabian Capital, Killing 10

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

A fuel tanker which slammed into a bridge at a busy intersection in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killed 10 people and injured at least 50 on Wednesday.  Exploding into a ball of fire, it destroyed cars and smashed windows in buildings all around.

New York Under Water

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

New York City has undergone a torrential storm that left six people dead and stranded close to a million residents without power. The city’s transportation system is crippled.

The storm surge was made worse by a higher full-moon tide, with the peak of the flooding lower Manhattan and other low-lying areas by 8 PM.

Large parts of Manhattan below midtown are now in the dark after a reported explosion that may have been at a Con Ed building, reported The Gothamist. “Huge explosion at 14th St. All of downtown is now dark,” tweeted the website’s correspondent. Another witness saw a “massive explosion here in LES then all went dark.”

As of early Tuesday morning, there are numerous reports of residents trapped in their homes facing the high waters that submerged many parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Rockaways. The Fire Department is forced to reach those trapped by boat.

According to the NY Post, water gushed into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and cars were floating in the streets. There was no dry land anywhere in the Rockaways, where cops in the 100th Precinct station house were trapped on the building’s second floor.

A 29-year-old man was killed in his Flushing, Queens, home when a tree fell into the building. Three children were killed when a tree fell in North Salem. A woman was electrocuted after stepping into a puddle on 105th Avenue in South Richmond Hill.

NYU Langone Medical Center is dark after the backup generators failed. Patients had to be moved to nearby facilities.

All MTA trains and buses are down.

Jordan: We Stopped an al-Qaeda Plot against Western Diplomats and Commerce

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

The Jordanian General Intelligence Department has foiled a major terrorist plot which was in the planning and preliminary stages, according to the Petra news agency. The plot, by a group of 11 terrorists associated with Al Qaeda, was designed to target and carry out attacks against vital targets in Jordan including shopping centers, residential areas, diplomats and foreign nationals.

The objective of the plot, labeled as 9/11 (2) in reference to the Amman hotel bombings of 2005, was to cause chaos and anarchy and spread fear among the population, setting the stage for further operations to follow. The group had intended to take advantage of what they believed was the Intelligence “preoccupation” with other files, to carry out their plans.

The terrorist group made comprehensive preparations to carry out their crimes against selected targets. They performed surveillance and casing of these potential targets and laid plans for execution using explosives, booby-trapped cars as well as submachine guns and mortars.

The group, which was under constant surveillance at every stage by GID, experimented with explosives after procuring basic material and consulting with senior explosives’ experts from Al Qaeda in Iraq through terrorist websites.

Their objective was to create a highly destructive explosive that would cause the highest number of casualties and extensive physical damage. They had planned to bring TNT explosives and mortar shells from Syria, exploiting the ongoing crisis there.

The group was able to devise new types of explosives to be used for the first time, and planned to add TNT so as to increase their destructive power. Given what they believed to be the “success” of their experimentation with the explosive material, they made their findings available on terrorist websites for the benefit of other extremists. They subsequently started selecting operatives and potential suicide bombers to carry out these attacks.

The early plans of the group were to target diplomats from hotels and public areas followed by the bombing of two major shopping malls in order to draw the attention of the security services away from these selected targets, thus clearing the way for them to target their main objectives in Abdoun, in West Amman.

The plan was for the main attack to be carried out by suicide bombers using explosive belts and devices as well as booby-trapped cars and machine guns.

Subsequently, mortar shells would be fired at the entire neighborhood.

GID has seized machine guns and ammunition along with basic material for the manufacture of explosives. Other seized items included computers, cameras and forged documents. The case has been transferred to the Prosecutor General of the State Security Court for investigation and further legal proceedings.

Even Without Shai Agassi, Better Place Offers a Great Deal

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

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. The company’s press release about this is here.

I don’t know a lot yet about Evan Thornley, but I will find out more. He certainly pushed Better Place on quite a bit in Australia and, while Renault seems to be a slightly reluctant partner in Europe today, Evan has brought GM Holden on board in Australia and that may turn out to be brilliant.

Timing

If I have a complaint it is about the local timing of this announcement. Just last week Better Place and the local leasing company Albar announced an amazing deal they would be selling at a car show in Tel Aviv this week. They’re offering a 3-year lease for ₪9,990 down and ₪1,990 per month which includes driving 1000 km. Fuel alone for that distance is ₪900 or more. I have personally put two people in touch with Better Place who are close to taking this. I have 3 or 4 more very interested. I’ve had calls or messages from all who are asking if the company will be around to service the lease.

I can’t answer that question. Obviously I need them to continue operating or my car is useless. It’s my belief now, as it was when I bought my car, if Better Place were to fail completely, someone would pick up the local assets at a discount price and continue to run the service. Too much has been spent for it to be written off completely.

As I’ve written so glowingly I think Better Place are doing many things correctly: the product,the pricethe service are all excellent.

Local Advertising

I’m going to make one strategic criticism though. The marketing in Israel has been disappointing. When the New York Times writes “But despite vast publicity, the idea has gained little traction so far.” they’re confusing two different things. Being featured in the Startup Nation book and talked about in global business publications doesn’t affect the Israeli domestic market for cars (or that in Denmark I suspect). Sure it gets a few headlines but the Israeli press has been overwhelmingly skeptical from the start.

I could be very cynical and point out that as car advertising (by internal combustion engine car importers of course) is something like 50% of all media buy in Israel, perhaps the newspapers were just protecting their biggest customers.

But the reality is Better Place has not told a competent story to Israelis. They haven’t advertised in English, Russian or Arabic just for starters. And their advertising in Hebrew has not been enough. There is only one sales centre in Israel: Tel Aviv. There should be one in Jerusalem and Haifa at a minimum. I can’t link to an English version of the lease offer because their web page is in Hebrew only, here’s a brief article in Globes about it. And the terms of the lease are an image so Google won’t even translate it for you.

I know personally how huge this education gap is because of the questions I get asked every time I drive or park my car. Very few people have any idea about the car or actively believe lies and misinformation spread in the press here for 3 years now.

There has been no coherent promotion of just how nice the car is to drive. No promotion of how easy it is to switch or how the home charging works. Of course having only one model hurts them, but as it is  the most popular style of car in the country, not by much.

Shai Agassi and Investment

As to Shai, it is completely normal for a founder of something like this to move or be moved aside when a company transitions into more of an operational stance than a start up. I have met him but I wouldn’t say I know him and I’m not going to give some uninformed speculation about what led to this.

Maaleh Shomron Terrorists Caught

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

IDF arrested three terrorists who were shooting at cars from Maaleh Shomron (near Ginot Shomron), as first reported by JewishPress.com.

The three terrorists were from the nearby Arab village of Azun, and were shooting at the Maaleh Shomron cars with an AK-47 that the IDF also captured at the same time.

It’s not known at this time if these terrorists were connected to the infiltration attempt into Maaleh Shomron 2 weeks ago.

Shooting Attack on Road 55 (Maaleh Shomron)

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

At least two cars were shot at on Road 55 near Maaleh Shomron on Saturday night.

One car was shot at on the curve leading into Maaleh Shomron. The shots were also heard by the guards at the Maaleh Shomron entrance. The marks on that car seemed to indicate the weapon used in the attack was an improvised gun rather than an off-the-shelf weapon.

No one was injured in the attack. The perpetrators apparently fled back to the nearby village of Azun.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shooting-attack-on-road-55-maaleh-shomron/2012/09/30/

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