A couple weeks ago, I ran across an article on a guy named Shai Agassi, who has absolutely no relation to the tennis legend. Instead, this is a guy that WIRED thinks might just change the world. Agassi’s idea is to replace existing petrol driven motor vehicles with electric ones, which isn’t fundamentally new at all. The difference is he’s coming up with the whole infrastructure to make it happen and how it is to be marketed. He wants to manage and control the demand for energy. His company, Better Place, is working together with Renault and Nissan to make the ubiquity of the electric vehicle a reality rather than some poncey celebrity environmental consciousness fad.

So electric cars. Are they all that much better? Whilst they produce zero emissions, won’t the fuel burnt to create said electricity still be an issue? Some argue that the pollution would at least be concentrated to power plants whilst others also look into the fact that alternative energy sources are becoming increasingly viable. I’m leaning a lot more to the latter these days, being the eternal optimist.

Agassi’s plan is radical in that he intends to fuck over the petroleum companies as well as major car manufacturers. He intends to convince whole cities and nations to build an infrastructure system to accommodate electric cars, including recharge stations and a grid network that can move the electricity freely from point to point, to account for changes in demand and supply. You pay for the electricity and lease the car instead, possibly even borrowing it for free. Its a bit like using a car like a mobile phone, where you have a monthly subscription or some such. Recharging can be done faster than at present, by changing battery packs at recharge stations or recharging at home overnight.

The point is, we all know burning fossil fuels is bad for the environment. That and just as important, it doesn’t last forever. So we need to be looking at a solution and they’re all around. The question is why aren’t things happening? One reason is the pace of technological advancement and the other is simply politics. Agassi’s plan, detailed more on the Better Place website, simply throws such problems aside and sounds pretty darn convincing in talking about how to really get the wheels rolling. It already is in fact.

I am awaiting the Jonathan Ive designed iCar sometime circa 2015 that can accommodate my 2015 version iMac (which is actually the iDSLR + iPod + iCamcorder + iWallet + iPhone + iKeys + iMac) whilst I dream about some iArabica to go with some iSourdough with iRoastPork, iceburgLettuce, iDJon and an Apple chutney.