« Runaway energy demand | Main | Rumors about location »

December 01, 2007


Brooks Jordan


Have you heard of this guy, Johnathan Goodwin, featured in FastCompany:


Sounds like someone you should know.


Hi Shy,
how can o send you a personal e -mail?


Tzvi Rozenman

Your marketing method inevitably leads you to become also an electricity Supplier/Retailer. That means that you contract for electricity from a generator, pay for transmission and distribution and meter electricity usage at the battery recharge locations. Covering these electricity cost may be part of your lease arrangement with your EV customers.
In Israel, the Public Utilities Authority (PUA) sets the electricity tariff. The tariff varies through three daily usage periods, three yearly seasons and three Network Voltage. Thus there exist essentially 27 rates for electricity. These rates increase with lower network voltage and increase from night to summer peak. The rate (cent/kWhr) at summer peak hours at 340Volts (domestic network) is 8.2 higher than the night rate at a 160 kVolts network (I was the consultant to the PUA that set this tariff model)
Of course, the Battery charging takes place at the low (domestic) network Voltage. However in the role of electricity supplier/retailer you have the opportunity to optimize the electricity cost to the EV customers. In sites with dedicated charging outlets (parking lots) you can buy electricity at high voltage (low cost) and transform it to the charging points. This cannot be done for a home with a garage owner who charges his at night at home. Naturally, regulation in Israel will have to be amended to accommodate this,

Rick Bullotta


I had the pleasure of spending a couple hours with Gene Kranz, flight director for a number of NASA space missions, most notably Apollo 11 and Apollo 13. Your analogy to the space program is quite relevant - a few of the opinions that Gene and I shared were:

- we have not taken the opportunity to leverage the same commitment and effort put towards the space program to achieve energy independence, but it is well within our grasp

- we do not graduate enough scientists and engineers

I would love to see a global "call to action" similar to President Kennedy's challenge to go to the moon:

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win..."

Ping me offline when you get a chance - I think Rami sent you my contact info.


A Greener World and A Dream Most Possible

Hi Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is Jerry Jiang , CEO and Chairman of Magdyno Corp ( www.magdyno.com), a revolutionary innovation in electric motor and controller for Electric Vehicle /Light Electric Vehicle applications.

As you know, Climate change is a complex global issue demanding innovative solutions. A vast array of stakeholders – large and small, public and private – are turning their attention to new approaches to securing a greener future. The challenge lies in developing sound measures that not only capitalize on new market mechanisms and sources of revenues (such as carbon credits), but also optimally engage key players, including government, industry, and civil society.

Motor vehicles are the major source of urban air pollution. A Study shows motor vehicle emissions contribute the following levels of pollutants to the overall air quality.

80 per cent of carbon monoxide (CO)

60 per cent of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

40 per cent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

30 per cent of particulate matter (PM) - resulting in winter smog

On the other hand, Global warming has highlighted the urgent need for consumer friendly electric vehicles.

Currently we are looking for funding source to promote our patented technology drivetrain products (revolutionary eletrci drivetrain innovations) for zero air pollutant emission transportation applications. I am writing to you looking for funding sources for the project.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

Jerry Jiang
CEO and Chairman
905-997-8081 (direct line)
647-231-8031 (mobile)
Magdyno Electro-mechanical Engineering Consulting Corp.
1498 Stillriver Cres. Mississauga, Ontario L5M3V5, Canada

A Greener World and A Dream Most Possible

Lior Shmueli

Dear Shai,

My firm represents an entrepeneur who developed a transportation solution that ease traffic jams.
We estimate that our solution can be integrated in the "better place project" and increase the environmental benefits of it.
I will appreciate if you can contact me directly through the above mail.

Good luck

Lior Shmueli
[email protected]

Ben Bakhshi

Shai, I think you would like this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ulxe1ie-vEY

Could be the first promo spot for the "Agassi." AKA PBP Renault.

David E. Lane

As a means of drumming up support, our advocacy group would like to hold screenings of WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR? in Israel. Key figures from film would be available to hold panel discussions with audiences. Wouldn't a screening at the Technion or perhaps TAU be ideal?

Simon Porter

I would be interested to hear how things went for PBP at EVS23. It would be nice to know what reaction you've had from other companies that attended.

Nasir Iqbal

Dear Shai,

I tried posting twice just now but Typepad's antispam filter catches it out. Can I have an email address to send the message to instead.
Thanks and regards/nasir

Nasir Iqbal

Nasir Iqbal

Dear Shai,

I have read with great deal of interest about Project Better Place.

Electric Car is an idea whose time has come due to a mix of steady technology improvements in battery and capacitor technology as well as power electronics needed to switch, control and condition substantial power flows between the motors and battery/capacitor system.

Tesla Motors and other speacialty producers have shattered the "milk float" image of electric cars and have put them in the performance category.

Hybrids and hydrogen cars do not work for me for purely engineering/financial reasons.

Hybrids will always be more expensive as they do not strip out the capital cost (or operating/maintenance cost) of an engine/transmission system while adding further cost for integrating two power systems. Besides it keeps the authorized dealers busy changing oil and spark plugs. It is a short term answer to the energy storage issue which you address through infrastructure and a number of technology companies are addressing through better battery systems.

Hydrogen (compressed, liquified or adsorbed) creates thermal (efficiency) and capital cost penalties in all such systems I have seen. Hydrogen just a very very expensive battery. Its thought of as a useful alternative to batteries because vehicles can be refuelled quickly, an advantage which is erroding fast.

To go with hydrogen two sets of capital equipment, one to make hydrogen from electricity and the other to convert it back to electricity are needed. A third one may be needed if hydrogen is generated centrally and distributed to filling stations. There are considerable safety issues to overcome besides the substantial efficiency and capital cost penalties. It simply cannot compete with pure EV (battery/capacitor) system without initial and ongoing subsidies. All of this bending over backwards simply because the underlying premise of batteries taking too long to charge and not storing enough power give a 100+ mile range is not addressed in a creative manner.

Electricity will continue to increase its share of the energy mix at the final point of consumption as we have continued to substitute gas cookers for microwaves and are now ready to swap gasoline for electricity in our personal transport as well. In U.S., for example, electricity share at final point of consumption was around 15% in 1955, grew to 25% by 1970 and stood at just over 40% in 2000. It is expected to increase to over 65% by 2020 (could be higher on takeup of electricity based transport systems). Electricity's increasing share is good news as its the only way to scale down resource use from status quo mix without compromising our living standards or economic well being.

>From an engineering standpoint the efficiencies of power generated in large power stations (with combined cycle) beats hands down the efficiency of burning gasoline in small mobile engines used in cars. This is reflective in the cost per kilometer which I calculate at 6 cents for gasoline and 1.5 cents for electricity. The difference is larger here in Europe.

Thanks and regards/Nasir Iqbal

(Part 1 of 2 -I split the comment into two parts as it kept on being blocked by Typepad spam filter presumably due to length).

Nasir Iqbal

(Part 2 of 2, continued from part 1 below)

I believe a battery/super capacitor combination offers a superior solution to either on its own. Capacitors acting as buffers can mediate sudden demands for power required in acceleration and braking increasing safety and extending the useful life of battery.

The capital cost of automobiles will also climb down substantially as large complex engine and transmission systems are stripped out and replaced by a battery and motor.

The vested interests in the form of car companies, component makers, labour unions, authorized dealers will all resist until it is inevitable and then claim credit for it.

Your innovation is to:
(1) look at the project in terms of a systems integration approach; and,
(2) follow the mobile telephone market as a guiding model for developing service infrastructure.

I believe it might be useful to build an industry coalition to devise a standard for the physical/electrical specifications of the battery/capacitor systems. This standardisation will help battery inventory issues and help with simple automated removal and replacement without putting a limit on the number of different models and manufacturers you can serve.

Providing the cars with a plug in charging system will add to the recharging flexibility and give the users a sense of empowerment at being able to plug in and recharge the vehicles. (note to exercise junkies: how about using the treadmill or exercise bike to generate electricity to power your own car!...)

An induction charging system might also be a useful idea. These systems can be sold to the customer to install in the garage floor at their home or can be added at a number of public locations where 'charging bays' could be marked to leave the cars to be parked and charged. The use of a battery-supercapacitor system will certainly enable much faster charging. Toshiba has already announced its SCiB (Super Charge ion Battery, http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2007_12/pr1101.htm) with a 10 year lifetime and a recharge to 90% level in under 5 minutes. This combined with a capacitor system has the potential to reduce the recharge time to seconds. This has the potential to ultimately do away completely with battery replacement and plug in charging thus giving far more design flexibility to battery and vehicle manufacturers.

Induction charging can make electric cars universal by being integrated into the road system. The payment system will need an RFID tag to identify the vehicle for billing.

Coming back to the vested interests, Europe has very high gasoline taxes, as electric cars start becoming mainstream the governments will start coming back with excuses to protect their current levels of tax take. It might be interesting to start a dialogue with them now to see if an exemption for a certain numbers of years would be provided to let the transition from gasoline to electric vehicles to take place on the grounds of environment before they figure out that more power stations will be needed to generate the electricity needed for the transport system, though in the long run cleaner electricity sources will come in.

If you are ever in London I would be very interested in meeting up to discuss this further.

Wishing you and the project well. I will following developments with a keen interest.

Nasir Iqbal

The comments to this entry are closed.