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Startup Wants to Sell Cars Like Cell Phones

Jason Gewirtz,|Senior Producer
Wednesday, 7 May 2008 | 7:16 AM ET

Car companies, and oil and gas companies have vowed to clean-up the air. But one Israeli investor is actually doing something.

A Better Place, run by Israelis Shai Agassi and Idan Ofer have funded and are testing an electric car.

Yeah yeah yeah, we know you think electric car, you think pick-up like a golf cart. Think again.

Israel's Electric Car
A Better Place, run by Israelis Shai Agassi and Idan Ofer have funded and are testing an electric car.

Using a Renault's body, A Better Place has come up with a way to put a battery in a car, and to really make it run, fast. The car goes from zero to 60 in eight seconds. Not bad.

Ofer and Agassi are hoping to market and sell the car first in Israel because the government seems willing and ready to help with the infrastructure. And that's what A Better Place really is — an infrastructure company, not a car company.

The partners are trying to get gas stations throughout the country to put battery charging stations on their property, making driving a battery-operated car realistic.

Dafna Berezovski is A Better Place's Sales and Marketing Manager. She says the idea is to sell cars like cellphones are sold, with specific and differing service packages.

While A Better Place's executives admit selling electric cars in the United States may be difficult, they are working on markets they believe will be more open to it. They're also holding meetings with European governments in a bid to open roads there.

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