‘We are the eCar guys! We don’t build cars, we don’t produce batteries and we don’t create electrons.

Nor do we collect money and donate it to charities or social projects – we collect money and donate it to our shareholders.’

Rolf Schumann of Better Place
Rolf Schumann of Better Place

So said Rolf Schumann of Better Place when he spoke recently at the Green Venture Summit in Berlin about his new job.

So just how do they live up to the name Better Place?

This video shows how:

How do you make the world a better place by 2020?

Schumann says that this was a question raised in a young leaders forum.

His answer is that you need to end the dependance on oil.

This will be done by converting the transportation industry into a clean business based on clean energy.

How do you do this?

Schumann maintains that there are two things you need for successful business.

On the one hand, he claims, you need a crazy, amazing technology and on the other hand a cool business model.

One of the companies that got this right, he says is Google.

Oil is dead!

The tailpipe kills people – full stop! Continuing to put combustion engines on the road kills people. – Rolf Schumann

Schumann claims that Better Place have a great technology solution for electric cars and a cool business model to make this work.

He wants to combine these to build a solution that gives one thing – the freedom ride.

He says ‘Don’t come to me with an electric vehicle that looks like a golf cart, costs twice the price of a car, can only go 80km and at the end of its life you have a battery to dispose of – this business model wont work’

What will work?  According to Schumann, the Zero-emission range extender

A business model that offers charge spots at home and at work that are powered by wind energy so that your car is fully charged first thing in the morning and at the end of the day.

This needs to be combined with a network of switch stations for top up if you reach the end of the battery limit (150 km at present).

All this sounds like a great plan, but it will be interesting to see how the electric vehicle competes with increasing competition from advanced combustion conventional vehicles.