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

From KQED’s Bureau in San Jose, Rachael Myrow covers politics, economics, technology, food and culture in a vast region extending from Burlingame to Edenvale to Fremont. This follows more than seven years waking at 3 am to host the daily version of KQED's California Report, broadcast on NPR affiliates throughout the state during NPR's Morning Edition. She still guest hosts for The California Report and Forum, blogs for Bay Area Bites, and files for NPR and PRI’s The World. Before KQED, she worked for Marketplace and KPCC in Los Angeles. Follow @rachaelmyrow

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