Backers of electric cars are scheming to put you in the driver’s seat!
In one of the largest-ever initial fundings for a startup, a company led by former SAP (SAP) executive Shai Agassi has raised $200 million to fund a plan to shake up the auto industry. The new project is a sharp professional departure for the 39-year-old Israeli, who launched two small software companies in Israel before he joined SAP. His goal is nothing short of audacious: to jump-start mass adoption of electric vehicles by introducing a radically different scheme for selling the cars and handling their batteries.
Agassi’s company plans on operating much like a mobile-phone service provider. It hopes to sell or lease electric cars to consumers in packages that include monthly service fees. It will also operate networks of charging locations and service stations that replace batteries for people who are on the road. The whole system, called a "smart grid," will be coordinated by networking software developed by Agassi’s programmers. Source:http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/oct2007/db20071027_825187.htm
The TH!NK City. The reborn TH!NK City is a three-door, two-seat (two additional rear seats are available as an option) electric vehicle powered by a 30 kW electric motor and a choice of the three battery packs.
Think Global will own and maintain the battery. The customer pays a monthly fee—approximately €200 (US$305)—which includes a full maintenance service agreement, carbon offset payments and, in some countries, all electricity used, and insurance. Think will exchange the battery when necessary.
Sales begin this spring initially in Norway, followed by Denmark and Sweden later in the year. As production volume ramps up, Think Global will target the main European cities in 2009, starting with London, Paris, Berlin, Milan and Amsterdam. The car will be sold for approximately €20,000 (US$30,500). Source:http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/03/think-global-ge.html#more
If you don’t have to own and maintain the battery all of the uncertainty about buying this new technology is removed. It’s just the thing for B.C. residents who need relief from the B.C. Carbon tax.