Better Place founder and CEO Shai Agassi is the second U.S. state (next to California) in the United States, and the fifth location on Earth (besides, Denmark, Israel, Australia, and California) that is beginning to use its Better Place electric-vehicle infrastructure.
Better Place L.L.C. is based out of Palo Alto, California. It was founded in October 2007 with $200 million of venture capital.
It aims to reduce the dependency of petroleum for the world through market-based transportation infrastructure that uses electric vehicles, which will consume less expensive and cleaner fuels.
A Better Place website states that its mission involves this plan: “Better Place’s model means consumers subscribe to transportation as a service, much like they do today with mobile phones.”
“Auto companies make the electric cars that plug in to the Better Place electric recharge network of charging stations and battery swap stations."
Further, "Energy companies provide the network’s power through growing renewable energy projects. And Better Place provides the batteries to make owning an electric car affordable and convenient.”
Agassi stated, "Hawaii, with its ready access to renewable energy resources like solar, wind, wave, and geothermal, is the ideal location to serve as a blueprint for the rest of the U.S. in terms of reducing our dependence on foreign oil, growing our renewable energy portfolio and creating an infrastructure that will stabilize our economy.”
Agassi says that Hawaii is a very good test market for his clean energy concept. With about 1.2 million vehicles on its roads, the Hawaiian islands are a relatively small area to introduce the Better Place car battery exchange stations.
And, with about 100,000 new vehicles replacing older vehicles each year, a large, new group of electric cars can quickly be used for the stations.
UPDATE (12/5/08): Not everybody is convinced. Please also read the HybridCars.com article Devil's Advocates Question Better Place.