Welcome to the vision of Shai Agassi. A former president of the Products and Technology Group (PTG) at Sap AG, Shai Agassi is the man behind the incredible vision of the Better Place company, a leader in the race to electric cars. With a system of both recharging and battery replacing stations (designed to automatically take out your old battery and install a new one within a few minutes), Better Place aims to create a quick and easy way to recharge you electric car. Best of all, Agassi plans to have you driving your electric car nearly for free, leaving the company to profit from the recharging and replacement of batteries. The concept is similar to what many mobile phone service providers offer- a phone that is nearly free, as long as you are paying them for your calls.
So where does this incredible idea stand at the moment? Better Place has signed contracts to deploy their system in several American states, as well as in Australia, Ontario and Israel, and has over 25 regions and countries reported to be interested. Renault-Nissan have already agreed to build the cars, and have delivered a prototype, based on the Renault Mégane.
Earlier this year Better Place demonstrated the capabilities of its battery replacement stations for the Japanese Ministry of Environment, with amazing results. The station, which is set up in close resemblance to gas stations, and managed to remove the old battery from the test car and insert a new and fully recharged battery in less than two minutes. Two minutes! That’s less time than it takes to fill up the tank of an average sedan at a regular gas station.
We can only hope that Better Place continues working on this great idea, and keeps making such outstanding progress on the road to making our world a truly better place.