Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Shai Agassi unveils Project Better Place electric car

Shai Agassi, the founder of Project Better Place, on Friday chose Israel as the venue to unveil an electric car he believes will take the world by storm. Channel 2 television reported on the vehicle's first public test-drive, driven by Agassi himself, who dared to race against a regular car powered by traditional fuel. The Channel 2 cars correspondent, Shai Gal, said the electric car, based on the Renault Megane model, is quiet and unexceptional in feel.

Agassi says he does not plan to create a manufacturing plant for the cars, as some reports have suggested. In fact, it's the French automaker Renault that will apparently be making the car in Israel. But Agassi confided that he expects mass manufacturing of the car to start in 2010.

It has also been reported that
Renault president and CEO Carlos Ghosn will come to Israel on January 21 to attend the dedication ceremony for Project Better Place, which will be hosted at the President's Residence in Jerusalem.

Project Better Place is building the infrastructure and networked grid to allow us to switch to electric cars. The company was founded by Shai Agassi, formerly #2 at SAP, and it has raised over $200 million from investors including Israel Cleantech Ventures, Maniv Energy Capital, and VantagePoint Venture Partners.

AutoblogGreen has published a gallery of photos taken from the Channel 2 report. The video below demonstrates how Project Better Place's infrastructure of electric car charging stations will work.

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Better Place secures $350 million series B round led by HSBC