Oil, Electrics & The Tipping Point between the Two

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How is he singing karaoke? Shai Agassi announces the world's first switchable-battery electric taxi in Tokyo last April. (Credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

Shai Agassi (founder of Palo Alto's Better Place) recently sat down for a chat with Greg Dalton, Climate One director and vice president of The Commonwealth Club (video below).  Agassi's spiel is pretty much the same it's been for a few years now. He says employment and oil consumption are currently linked in the "West." i.e. More jobs = more driving. He thinks that's not such a good idea (as you might expect, given his business). He's got a lot more interesting math to share if you've got a half hour to spare.

My favorite line is "Battery autonomy is longer than bladder autonomy for drivers." Now there's an interesting visual. But Agassi's read on China's passion for electrics is pretty compelling, too. Agassi is Israeli, and Better Place is building its first network in Israel - in large part because the government there was willing to get behind electrics in a way we haven't seen out of Washington DC. But the company has big plans for California, too.

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About Rachael Myrow

Rachael Myrow hosts the California Report for KQED. Over 17 years in public radio, she's worked for Marketplace and KPCC, filed for NPR and The World, and developed a sizable tea collection that's become the envy of the KQED newsroom. She specializes in politics, economics and history in California - but for emotional balance, she also covers food and its relationship to health and happiness.

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