Greening the World

Published: January 24th 2011
in Economics » World

Better Place Charging Station
Pic: Better Place
Tesla Model S
Pic: Tesla

Global warming


With the amount of attention going “green” has received, one would expect that there would be more advancement in this sector. Houses are being built green, unused rooftop real estate is being used for energy production, and “sustainable apparel” is the hot catchphrase in fashion. However, cars, the one industry that truly needs to go green, is still lagging behind. But that’s about to change, thanks to some brilliant Jewish entrepreneurs.


Electric cars have been around since the mid 19th century. Back then, electricity was the preferred method of propulsion. However, gasoline companies got involved and we all know the end result. Back in the early 90s, GM had flirted with the electric car before shutting down production. Today, there are two choices for driving green: hybrid and electric. Hybrid is the most common choice but offers the owner little in exchange for the added expense of going hybrid, and isn’t fully “green”. Electric is the greenest but isn’t available on large scale and is still too expensive as a common solution.


The unfortunate fact is that the vast majority of our vehicles still need petrol as an energy source to run the engines. And as we all know the combustion of this precious liquid causes the greenhouse effect which is responsible for 2010 being the hottest year ever recorded since such records were kept in the late 19th century.


The already here solution – Tesla Motors


Tesla Motors is a Silicon Valley-based electric car manufacturer whose lead investor, and CEO, Elon Musk. Musk, a South-African-Canadian Jew, was the co-founder of PayPal, which he later sold for $1.5 billion in stock to eBay. Musk owned 11.7% of PayPal prior to the sale.


Telsa Motors has quickly become the darling of the electric car industry. After a shaky start that saw the company reach a near financial collapse, Tesla receive a US$465 million loan from the Unites States Department of Energy in June 2009.


This loan has been used to support engineering and production of their Model S sedan, their lowest price model yet at $57,400 before state/province deductions. With the car expected to begin deliveries to customers in 2012, Tesla has already taken over 3,000 reservations for the Model S in North America and Europe.


The Model S is widely seen as the first affordable, high-end, electric car. The car’s body is very reminiscent of the Maserati Quattroporte, and looks truly beautiful. Tesla will be providing three different options for battery packs; 160 mi (260 km), 230 mi (370 km) and 300 mi (480 km) per charge, which can be recharged using any electrical socket.


Tesla has also confirmed that they are working on an all-electric SUV based on the Model S platform. The car, called the Model X, will be unveiled later this year. There is also a more “mainstream” model in the works which will be priced at under $30,000 and will be available in about four years.


Tesla has already released their all electric Roadster model but the based price starts at $109,000, far out of reach of most customers.


Aside from their own cars, Tesla provides their technologies to Toyota, Daimler, Mercedes and other car manufacturers. Tesla is recognized as the leader in electric car technology, and a champion of the industry.


The almost here solution – Better Place


Better Place is an Israeli company that was founded by Shai Agassi. Agassi's main idea is to replace the gasoline cars with electrical cars and to replace the petrol stations with batter charging/replacing stations.


Related articles: (Green, Better Place, Tesla, Innowattech, Shai Agassi, Elon Musk)

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