« 5th graders - continued | Main | Virtual Oil Field »

January 28, 2008



Let's hope it isn't the biologists solving the problem...

The genome mucking about that is going on in countless labs these days demonstrates that we haven't the slightest clue of how these things really work. Most of the experimentation is based on "best guess" regarding the countless indeterminate genomes and their effect (direct or indirect) on the behavior of others.

It won't be long (1? 10? 20 years?) before some idiot does indeed crack open a veritable Pandora's box.

This isn't necessarily a doomsday scenario, but rather a statistical reality given the amount of experimentation going on (much of it below radar and in some less-than-ethical environments) and the staggering large percentage of "grey area" in our current understanding.

Instead, let's try to refocus the efforts on technologies we know how to manage/control, or that have fewer "degrees of freedom" in their uncertainty...

Amit Nisenbaum

Thanks for the update Shai. Good to know that PBP generates lots of good vibe and promising BD leads. And with the blessing comes the curse, how to best capitalize on these leads and prioritize them :-). Good luck with that.

And yes Shai, it will be good to hear more about the production side of your framework. Including some support to the assertion that 1kW of solar thermal capacity should provide 2,500 kWh that is required for the average car in IL. This makes sense assuming a reasonable 30% of time (out of 24*365 = 8760H a year) where a car will be available for recharge. This is especially reasonable taking under account the synergetic relationship between the currently-centralized, power plant based grid and the new distributed solar generation infrastructure (AKA V2G). This will allow “uploading” of electricity to the grid when the car is not consuming charging capacity in return to guaranteed electricity “downloading” capacity when the car needs it.

In general, the addition of this decentralized power generation component to the grid makes a lot of sense from the system stabilization perspective (adding redundancy, smoothing the supply curve at peak times and cloudy days, etc.).

Thinking about it, this is very analogues to the evolution of the computer industry that moved from mainframes to client-server and distributed PC-based computing. This could be a good analogy to use, Shai, when talking with people about the production side of the framework (supplementing the cellular analogy when talking about the consumption side)

Oil America ltd

We are interested to meet you here in Los Angeles. Please let us know when you could come.

Contact person: Yehuda Weisz
Cell: 310-985-1572

Tom Navasero

Congratulations Shai on a successful Davos Meet.

Nano-Phosphate Lithium Ion batteries + Mobile "EV" Network + Project Financing + Island State (700 Km Sq) + Entrepreneur = Success

We look forward to collaborating with your team for Singapore and ASEAN. We have started our project "Better Place " for Singapore, and we hope we can collaborate in the very near future.

With the World City Summit 2008 being hosted in Singapore this June. We hope you can join us.

Tom Navasero
+65 97941818
HT Advanced Mobility Pte. Ltd.


Dear Shai,

Congratulations on pursuing your idea further into communities such as Davos! Sorry, just missed you during your visit in Munich but hope to meet with you possibly at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in April or in September in New York.

As an enthusiastic supporter of alternative investments in public infrastructure, I would be delighted if I could be of any help to you and your PROJECT BETTER PLACE in terms of institutional/corporate/private investors you may want to attract in Europe/Middle East.

Most recently, I have worked at Deutsche Bank focusing on energy/renewables and transport infrastructure investments.

Hope to hear from you.

+44 7951 344 567

Cristian Laverde Koenig

Dear Mr. Shai Agassi,

Please accept my humble congratulations on all the achievements till this day. I am pleased to find out about Project Better Place and see that there are people out there taking action. Maybe you would consider joining forces with Mr. Al Gore??
I humbly want to contribute with some information I came across with and I think, if we are serious about "going green", can not ignore. I am talking about: "Surge Electric Motors". This is a motor that actually generates energy as suppose to using it. It is powered only by permanent magnets which have a magnetic live of about 400 years. They can power a house or a building and of course an Electric Car. This would eliminate completely the old problem of recharging, which eliminates of course the problem of range and charging stations availability. So, there are many ideas that come to mind when you think about that: You can use these as generators at home where they can run all the electric needs of a house, even charging your electric car's batteries; they can be the generators at a charging station (if you can not use solar or even if you can); or you can get rid of the battery on an electric car and power it with one of this generators, or recharged the batteries as you go; but the ultimate idea would be, they can be the actual propulsion of a car if combined with a transmission system and, for all that matters, these cars could be your electric generator while parking at home.
I think that there is a lot of focus put into cars as the pollution problem but the truth is that they are the cause of only 21% of it (as estimated on Project Better Place’s video). The other 79% is what we really should focus on if we want to be true on "going green". If we start putting electric cars out there, what we really need to think is how are we going to produce the energy to powered them.
I’ve got a few links with information about some companies and people whom already work with “Surge Electrical Motors”, I invite you to have a look: www.gammamanager.com ; www.kbmorgan.com/marsmission/marsbull/bull326.htm ; www.cycclone.com ; www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt5z8L4LBJE&NR=1 ; www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDeXTXYFKAY&feature=related ; www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu8LaVH-pn0&feature=related
Thank you for your amazing contribution to solving these problem, I hope things keep escalating for Project Better Place. Best of luck.

Sincerely, Cristian Laverde Koenig.


Mr Agassi, I was reading your bio and you’re a brilliant individual the article in the Canadian Jewish News lead me to want to be apart of this new frontier. All the best!


I am looking for something worthwhile to do.
My specialty is logistics and on the ground implementation, i.e. construction and development (32 years).

If I can help please contact me in Atlanta, GA.

Naidu Saladi

Congratulations on your quest. Last week business week article on you was very informative and inspirational. I am working in Software industry and pursuing part time MBA. Currently my focus is on Solar Photo voltaic and Solar Thermal energy. I am interested in working to be part of this project. Please let me know how to be part of this effort in any manner or any capacity
Naidu, Minneapolis, MN

William Hughes-Games

Once one country has adopted electric cars as proposed by Renault-Nissan and Project Better Place, there will be a paragdime shift as big as when horses were replaced by motor cars. All other countries will soon follow the lead. They will have no choice.

A question to Project Better Place. If the horizontal surfaces of a typical car were clad in solar cells with today's efficiencies, how far could I drive at, say, 100km/hr after my car sat in full sunshine for the 8 hours I spend at work.

David Oppenheim

Shai, I am very impressed with the project and believe that what Better PLC is doing has the potential for global impact. I graduate with a degree in finance in 6 months from IDC Herzliya, where I saw you speak while still with SAP.

I have skills to offer and would be interested in any role in the international expansion of this project.

David Oppenheim
[email protected]

zeev kirsh

deer shai,

FIRST: It is forseeable that electric motors and batteries/capacitors will be improved so much in the next 10-20 years that electric cars will compete with gas powered cars. However no one has taken a crack at solving the only other necessary part of the the EV equation....the fuel supply stations. You are breaking new ground by attempting to develop a business model where there is now an abyss. You are like a dedicated explorer because you are willing to take a great risk with your fortune which may or may not benefit you, but which will certainly benefit mankind.

Second: Have you thought about creating a program to integrate project better place with american and international students who can learn from the israeli successes and mistakes ( both in the engineering/logistics/finances/and technology ) and attempt to take these lessons back to their own countries?
I personally would be very willing to come to israel to be part of this project and bring back the first messages and lessons of hope to new york city and other urban areas in the america. Many people are behind your efforts. Be'hatzlacha

Narayan Shankar

Great job Mr.Agassi.
I read about your project in the business week and wish you all the success.
One thing that intrigued me was why there was no mention of converting the public transport buses in Israel. It seems to me that they are ideally suited to your vision. They have defined routes; maintenance crews who can easily replace the batteries at predetermined stops;since looks are secondary compared to a private car the batteries can be located for easy mounting & dismounting and if they are governement run you have already sold the customer.
And it will give a kick start to the business model
Good luck


Your project is fascinating.
I wish I could be a part of it.
Anyhow, in my search for a good and efficient electric motor,
I found an inventor that may give a good solution!
He already introduced it to an MIT professor, which specializes in that area.
His impression was very good. But still studding it.

If the motor is only 50 percent of what his claiming to be,
We have a winner!!

I will be glad if you contact me for farther information.

Best regards,

Maurice Adema

Dear Shai Agassi,

You have started a fantastic initiative!

I see it as a start of a much needed energy revolution which in turn will trigger the 3rd industrial revolution.

One important factor to make the revolution even faster is to start working on eradication of "energy illiteracy" which can be done very fast through introduction of the "Joule Standard"

It cannot be denied that the world's population and even energy experts and policy makers are in fact "energy illiterate". That's why you see corn being turned into biofuels....to burn it...Human beaing are used to burn things to get access to their energy (they burn on average 30x more energy than that they consume for food; and thus we should call human being "Burnivores") see www.burnivore.com

The reason why people are energy illiterate is that when we talk about energy we never talk in the correct units. Oil guys talk in barrels, gas-guys in cubic feet, coal guys in metric tons and electricity guys in Watt and kilowats and alternative fuel guys in Mtoes Mboes, solar guys in Watt-peaks and the list goes on.

Why don't we just start using the unit of energy that was already agreed as the unit for energy 100 years ago. This unit is in fact already widely used in electricty world but strangely nobody knows that....(or have forgotten)

Why are electricty consuming devices the only consumers that consume something without a per .....

A lamp consumes 100 Watt (why don't people ask per what....???)
Every other type of consumption always is accompanied by a "per"...A household consumes 100 liters of water per day, 20 liters of milk per month and 2 kg of sugar per day.....there is always a per.

Why not with electric devices? Because per is undercover of Watt. Watt means Joule per second! But who is interested in what a device consumes per second? We need to know how much it consumes per hour, per day per month or per year; because that is what we pay for.

People think that what they pay for is how many kilowatts per hour they use....??? But a kWh does not mean kilowat per hour but kilowat x hour which is simply 3,6 MJ....It is Joules that you pay for, and Joules that you use!

It is high time to implement the "Joule Standard" for all energy generators, storage and consuming devices sothat we finally become energy literate.

Nobody has a problem to visualize a 3 meter tall person with a bodyweight of 40kg...Why? because most people are weight and lenght literate simply because the units meter and kg are used for everything. You don't measure the height of a door with a different unit that the length of a table.....logic right? ...so why don't we use this logic with energy as well?

A fuel burning car consumes between 3 and 10 MJ (Mega-Joule) per km while an electric car of even better performance consumes only 0,3 to 0,5 MJ per km.....these are intersting numbers!

Solar panels Wind generators and all other generating devices should also be rated in MJ/day, per month or per year instead of a number in theory in a lab under ideal conditions. (those numbers are for engineers)

If you want to drive an electric car for 50km per day you need 25MJ of electricty. A Solar panel (1,5sqm) can generate 2,5MJ per day so your car needs 10 of those panels to provide the energy that your car would consume.

This is what the Joule Standard is about making things easy and transparent.

I hope that those future electric cars are going to have energy meters that tell you how much energy is left in your battery let's say 50 MJ and how much at present speed you are consuming let's say 0,5MJ/km and tells you that you have a distance balance of 100km left.

Dear Shai Agassi,
I realy hope you can get in contact with me; I have a lot of intersting proposals to discuss and can work on together for the full electric future. I have a succesfull business in Solar Systems for rural electrification www.sundaya.com in Indonesia, Singapore and Srilanka and we sell all around the world.
Our next big plan is to start manufacturing electric motorbikes with the latest charge management technologies we are presently developing.

Hope we can do something together,
Kind regards,
Maurice Adema (Dutch)

PS. the "burnivorous" species is destined for extinction and the "electrivores" have the future! www.electrivore.com


please one specification car /Renaut/

because taxi company in Bulgaria



are you going to have lite cars made?


Hi, Shai.

Talking you up on a couple other discussion boards in response to the Ethanol fascination that so many people seem to have. See below.

All the best,



Amazingly, we do have the solution, but it will take a major shift in policy and our economic underpinnings to make it happen. The ultimate end game is pure EVs (electric vehicles), which are effectively "energy agnostic". If the source was cheese whiz, ethanol, or a Mr. Fusion, the vehicle won't care.

The companion part to this strategy is an expanded nuclear energy program. We've learned a lot in the 25 years or so since the last facilities were brought on line in terms of safety, design, fuels, and so on. Many of the anti-nuke activists and environmental groups of the 70's and 80's are now strong supporters of a new nuclear policy.

Now, here's the downside. If you go to almost any small town (or any town) in America, you have a lot of businesses (in some towns, the only businesses) that either provide petroleum-based fuels or fix pieces and parts on petro-powered automobiles. An electric vehicle has a SUBSTANTIALLY reduced need for repairs (no mufflers, no oil/filters, no radiator, no air filters, no hoses, no exhaust system, etc...) and therefore the economic impact will be substantial. In fact, the operating costs of even the current generation of pure EVs are roughly ****10%**** of gas-powered and hybrid vehicles. Wow. That's a big change.

One of the arguments against EVs has been the charging time (with current technology, about 3-4 hours for a long range charge), but a guy I used to work with has started a company with a very simple but clever solution to this (www.projectbetterplace.com), based on having "battery stations", where you drive in, your battery pack is robotically replaced with a charged one, and yours is placed on a charger. Conceptually, there's always a bank of them charging and one ready to go.

Anyway, that is likely the answer to the overall situation for the next 100 years or so. While it isn't perfect (and it is currently expensive), I'd suggest checking out the Tesla site for more info (www.teslamotors.com).

Cristian Laverde Koenig

Why not going for the real thing? Like this is: EBM (Energy By Motion). www.gammamanager.com

Cristian Laverde Koenig

Why not going for the real thing? Like this is: Magnetic Engines. www.cycclone.com

Cristian Laverde Koenig

Or why not, just for giving recognition to old Troy Reed of Tulsa, whom more then a decade ago solved all those "how to power this car" problems, we just watch this and try to get things really rolling: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt5z8L4LBJE&NR=1

Elona Shukron

Hi, Shai

First, I'm proud to be a part of what you're doing.

What I mean is ... Israel and Hi-Tech.

I moved to Israel about 9 years ago as a single mother (have since met the love of my life), and am now working in a successful hi-tech start-up. That's enough for me to feel really good when I read about Project Better Place.

When I began reading about you and the Project it was because of my work, but I felt so good about what I read, that I had to share it with you.

OK, second (and I'm writing here only because I can't find any other venue to reach you on a professional level), we need to present our "black box" tracking/safety device to you. Although it it in the upper class of GPS/GPRS tracking technology, we have the smallest box and lowest power consumption currently available AND we have a built-in rechargeable battery! It's an amazing product and I know you would agree with me when I say it would be the perfect solution, as the project moves forward, for tracking, protection, safety and more.

Please contact me however you feel most appropriate:

Elona B. Shukron
International Account Manager
TrackTec, Ltd.
Poleg New Industrial Park
Mobile: +972-52-889-2391
email: [email protected]

By the way, although not exactly in the same area, we also have a patent pending in the clean/green technology arena. I'll tell you more about it when we speak.

We'd be so happy to be a part of this and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerly yours ... and all the best!

Tamar Weiss

Dear Shai Agassi,

I would like to be in touch with you regarding an article I am set to write about Israel's electric cars for "Present Tense" magazine.


Here is my contact information:

Tamar Weiss
(052) 877 1099
[email protected]

Thanking you in advance,
Tamar Weiss

Bill Docherty


I can't even put into words how excited I was by the Business Week article regarding your initiative. I find myself constantly wondering how I can play a role in helping your project succeed and change the world as we know it. Best of luck!

Contact person: Bill Docherty
Cell: 585-503-5669


Dear Shai Agassi
We have a young company in France and we try to developp, like you, electric deplacement.
We have just installed in Monaco the first electric bike station.
Your project of electric cars will be operational in 2011. I think the electric bike it will be a good alternative to wait the electric cars. You can go on our web site : www.cleanenergyplanet.com to see our development and the first electric station.
I wait your reply to discuss of this project and to put in your country electric ebike station.
Thank you very much for your attention to save the planet.
Best regards
Céline Seckler
[email protected]
Phone : 33 675 03 65 37

The comments to this entry are closed.