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Entrepreneur Raises $200 Million For Electric Car Venture

Former SAP executive Shai Agassi has raised $200 million to fund a company named Better Place that he hopes will jump-start mass adoption of electric vehicles. Agassi's company plans to operate much like a mobile-phone service provider by selling or leasing electric cars to consumers in packages that include monthly service fees. It will also operate networks of charging locations and service stations that replace batteries for people who are on the road.

Networking software developed by Agassi's programmers will coordinate the whole system, which is called a "smart grid." The plan is to set up service stations that will pull out and replace spent lithium-ion phosphate batteries in about the time required to fill a car's tank with gasoline. The company's wireless network will tell drivers where they can get batteries replaced.

Agassi hopes to pilot the project in a few countries next year and begin mass deployments in 2010. He says he's close to signed agreements with several car companies and countries.



Read the whole story at Business Week »

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