A friend reminded me that I need to keep an eye on the activities of Better Place – an electric car company with some intriguing ideas and growing momentum. They appear to be signing up additional industrial, financial and government partners for their idea of building and deploying electric cars by focusing on supplying them with clean, convenient power sources where miles can be sold like cell phone minutes. Led by a Silicon Valley success story named Shai Agassi, the company has focused on solving some of the more challenging aspects of building the necessary infrastructure to allow electric cars to compete with the established convenience and cost of gasoline powered automobiles.
One of the things that is obvious about the company is that they have an excellent grasp on taking advantage of existing technologies. I was particularly impressed, for example, when I attended a talk that included a description of the GPS and communications devices that allow vehicle owners to efficiently find their next charging station so that we do not necessarily need new stations at every corner to compete with gasoline.
The company is also using modern social, interactive media at its Planet Better Place. That site gives people a platform they can use to talk with other people who have good ideas about how to expand the reach of the company into new locations, how to help them provide the clean power sources that they will need, and simply to become part of a community that is working to make the world a better place.
One fun tool that Planet Better Place provides is a “minifesto” creator that allows point and click production of a little video that can tell the world – in ten words or less – why you think we need to end oil dependence. Here is a link to my contribution – if you decide to make one, send me the embed code or the URL so I can help you share it more widely.