Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rethinking the problem - Cars

TED - 2009_Shai Agassi photo © Suzie KatzImage by Suzie Katz via Flickr

Shai Agassi left SAP awhile back and started BetterPlace to change the economics of the car industry -actually personal transportation.

The company is a great example of rethinking the issue from the ground up. In the video, he uses some examples of countries leveraging their "features" to get to a "betterplace" . He did miss the US's key feature/attribute for powering cars electrically -- using available "Negawatts" .

Many years ago Amory Lovins (Rocky Mountain Institute, MIT) estimated that the US "wastes" about 50% of electricity, he coined the "term" Negawatts and showed that at the margin, saving a Negawatt was far cheaper then creating a "watt". -- more then enough savings available to power all the cars in the US with no additional electrical plants, no additional carbon emissions.

Even with that omission, it is still a great talk - well worth 18 minutes of your day both for the content and watching a great presenter.


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