Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Man, His Business Model, and a Paradigm Shifting Approach to the Electric Car.

From Wired Magazine. An interesting and thought provoking idea coming our way from Israel (a nation no doubt distinctly aware of where their economy's petro purchase dollars flow).

Here is the story in a nutshell. The issue with electric cars in the short term is a full large-scale deployment of support. Not just complete with recharging stations but also battery swap out facilities if you need a fully charged battery on short notice for a longer range trip. Also critical is support of fully delveloped and existing auto manufacturers to support electric vehicles. (See diagram below)

So in essence its the story of the Hydrogen Car but with technology immediately available today, full OEM support to roll out electric cars, and a product horizon of the near future.

Its doable and no less audacious than any other major idea drawing investment, support, and political advertising photo-ops right now. Its a little more complex than T. Boone Pickens' concept of converting vehicles to natural gas (an easy process) and much simpler than a Hydrogen Economy concept talked by the do-nothing till next decade crowd in opposition to most other proposals.

As viable as the smart-grid ideas pitched as the future, hydrogen refueling concepts pushing for funding, and of course the next-Gen biofuels emerging right now. I like what I'm hearing and I think that its something that would likely draw funding and support. In particular if Government and Utility groups stepped up to support this concept like they've done other experimental technologies in the past.

Also worth note, an Agassi quote from the article:

"I thought that the greatest problem of our time was oil. Oil on one hand is polluting the land, and on the other hand it's financing terror."

I trust those who are motivated by a perspective that moves them outside the normal box of concept. I don't trust those who are thinking big concepts to make a billion dollars. Though its a nice goal it breaks the focus away from true success of the technology and the recipricol partnerships necessary for a billion dollar business to thrive.

I am a capitalist personally so I don't trust those motivated that government is the sole solution either. But I do find an amazing pool of ideas and concpets trickling up from the End of Suburbia entrapanuer set. I don't believe in peak oil but I do find common ground with the perspective that imagines a world without oil and attempts to develop solutions that in their own right could compete with petroleum.

Shai Agassi is a leader of a logical framework I hope to see more from. An architect for the future that right or wrong will probably wring real additional wealth and value from technologies already with us and never applied in new directions. This is the definition of progress. Ideas pushing envelopes.

NOTE: I use this blog primarily to organize my reading, thoughts, and reactions over time. Complete with the tags and other background links. This is a little less than timely but I wanted to ensure I had it up for sake of finding it again.

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