Shai Agassi’s Electric Car Push
Electric cars, one of the most cutting edge motor vehicle technologies currently under development, have a lot to offer in terms of energy saving and green living. Shai Agassi, a young entrepreneur who recently left SAP, focuses his own company, Better Place, on solving our reliance on fossil fuels. With a goal of producing affordable, convenient and realistic electric cars, Shai Agassi’s start up looks to move forward from talk and strongly into action.
Electric cars in the US
The dependency on oil in the United States has become more and more of a concern in recent years. With automobiles requiring gasoline to run, they are Shai Agassi’s main focus in solving this issue. Solutions such as ethanol, hydrogen and solar power have been considered and just as quickly discarded as inefficient or unrealistic.
According to Shai Agassi, electric cars, provide the perfect solution. With more and more people in the United States becoming conscious about the fossil fuel dependency, the environment and the importance of renewable resources, now is the perfect time for new developments in cleaner, more efficient and less oil-dependent modes of transportation such as electric cars.
Why we need electric cars, according to Shai Agassi
Shai Agassi is not solely concerned with environmental issues when speaking about the benefits of electric cars. Knowing that many are concerned with simply the bottom line, he presents fascinating numbers detailing the long term comparison of electric power versus gasoline power in fueling cars.
For those concerned with numbers and cost, these statistics are staggering. Using the term “eMile,” which is one electric mile as compared to one gasoline powered mile, Shai Agassi demonstrates that even with the advances in hybrid cars (which are still not a viable option for most Americans), by 2020, one eMile will cost roughly $.02, compared to the hybrid’s $.80 per mile. As Shai Agassi explains, current car technology can simply not compete with electric cars in terms of cost to run.
Of course, the cost of running electric cars is not the sole concern at stake here. Environmental issues are by far the largest factor in Shai Agassi’s push for conversion to electric cars. The burning and depletion of fossil fuels present a current and increasing impact on both the environment and the economy. Shai Agassi explains that by 2015, even at the economy’s current slow recovery pace, the United States will have added 250 million new cars. At current consumption rates, that is an increase of 30% of the demand on oil – 25 million barrels a day.
Without action taken soon, the impact on the global environment and national economy is staggering. Clean burning and, with Shai Agassi’s plan, cost effective electric cars provide solutions to both issues.
Shai Agassi’s electric car goals
While several seemingly viable electric car options have been developed, Shai Agassi points out how unrealistic current solutions are. He states that in order for an electric car to be a reasonable solution for the United States, it must be more convenient and less expensive than currently available automobiles. Unfortunately, developments in electric cars have been neither of those things.
Shai Agassi explains that a car that drives for an hour before needing a charge or a car that costs $40,000 are not reasonable solutions to the problem of converting an entire country to electric automobiles. The truth is, no matter how good an electric car sounds, if standard automobiles remain less expensive, more reliable and more convenient, the conversion stands no chance.
Shai Agassi has come up with a viable solution:
In removing the battery from the equation, the cost of mass producing electric cars drops down to a realistic number for actual purchase. Shai Agassi’s innovative answer to the battery issue involves a network of “battery stations” – much like gas stations, a driver would pull in to a bay where a machine would change out the depleted battery and replace it with a charged battery, allowing the driver to continue forward without the inconvenience of stopping to charge. With his innovative vision for converting entire countries to electric cars, Shai Agassi has solved the problems of convenience, cost and environmental impact of removing reliance on fossil fuels. His unique approach of removing the battery from the equation and developing national networks of charging stations will bring electric cars out of theory and into reality.