Thursday, September 4, 2008

How we, at a small car company, can change the Local refueling options

As I finished in last night's blog, "Big-capital plants, high-finish products, tightly integrated dealership channel and upstream manufacturers together are a perfectly terrible recipe for choice, change, and adoption of local and competing refueling solutions.

Local Motors aims to change that recipe…"

Here's how.

The First Step.

2 years ago I met Shai Agassi when he was developing the seed of Project Better Place while still at SAP. Now one year after their official launch, Better Place (the “Project” part has now been dropped) has a plan to become a global electric-car grid operator. Said plainly, they own the batteries, the recharging, and the software. You own the car. Basically, for those autos, which adhere to the standard, their users can operate seamlessly within range of the recharging network.

Sounds good! …. if the recharging network is real and accessible.

Though Better Place has a LOT of money (read $100’s of Millions of US Dollars in investment), even its war-chest is not enough to blanket the world in a recharging grid of battery-swapping and parking-place recharging stations; therefore, they are launching in tightly defined regional areas where drivers tend to want/need to stay local.

*Isreal
*Denmark
*Hawaii

…are just a few examples of where they would like to roll out.
















So far they have signed up one automotive partner, Renault, who plans to carry the technology to market in a modified Megane-like sedan, whose styling can best be described as unremarkable. Renault is building this $20K car to support Better Place all over the world wherever Better Place goes.

In Israel, your Better Place car is…














In Denmark, you will be driving a Better Place car that looks like…














And yes, in Hawaii when you go to surf the Banzai Pipeline or drive up with your sweetie to the Pali lookout after a quick battery swap, you will be driving – you guessed it - …














Enter Local Motors.

We are inspired by Better Place. Not only do we like that their heart is in a good place, but also, we think that our Micro Factory Retail plan is a perfect complement to their plan. In whatever tightly defined regional area where they roll out, we would like to move in with an LM Micro Factory and to deliver vehicles that rock the Local styling Kasbah! Some people will buy the Megane for the price, others will pay more for the LM style, but ONLY LM’s product will bring high-quality Local jobs, a personal service and recycling presence, and vehicles designed FOR THE LOCAL BETTER PLACE.

So with that drum roll, here comes our next competition. Let’s show Better Place what our community can develop when it comes to a LOCAL focused car. After all, our community rocks at designing cars with unique Local DNA.

On Monday check out the site to see the description of the next LM Competition....

3 comments:

nate said...

As a Hawaii resident, I am really excited to hear this! That and I'm also about 75% done with my lotus seven clone that I've been building...next will probably be an electric car of my own design.

-nate
nate@clowar.com
www.clowar.com

Local Motorhead said...

So glad you are excited. Time for a change especially in Hawaii. We lived there for many years and I have a great soft spot in my heart for the islands. a seven clone!

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