Shai Agassi’s New Gig: Saving the World

After leaving SAP in March 2007, Shai Agassi, 39,  became CEO of  Project Better Place. The mission:  to promote the servicing network that must be in place for adoption of the electric car.

The Project Better Place Israel electric car initiative appeared in the New York Times this week:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, with the active support of President Shimon Peres,
intends to make Israel a laboratory to test the practicality of an
environmentally clean electric car. The state will offer tax incentives
to purchasers, and the new company, with a $200 million investment to
start, will begin construction of facilities to recharge the cars and
replace empty batteries quickly.

The idea, said Shai Agassi, 39,
the software entrepreneur behind the new company, is to sell electric
car transportation on the model of the cellphone. Purchasers get
subsidized hardware — the car — and pay a monthly fee for expected
mileage, like minutes on a cellphone plan, eliminating concerns about
the fluctuating price of gasoline.
January 21, 2008

I have written
of the rapid approach of the Peak Oil “shark-fin”, when world oil
production will begin to decline — we must respond and Project Better
Place is the first project that is attempting to transform the fossil
fuel consumption at a national level.

It is awesome that Shai is
taking on this vital global issue in a real and tangible way. He not
only has the vision thing, he has a genius for bringing high concepts
to tangible reality – as he has proven with the transformation of the
SAP platform in the past five years.

To learn more about Project Better Place, watch the video, see the site, read the news, or subcribe to the blog search feed.


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