Monday, September 8, 2008

Manhattan Motors Competition - Inspired by Better Place

As of noon today, it is official, the fifth and latest Local Motors car design competition is Manhattan Motors (Inspired by Better Place).


Local Motors claims as its mission the creation of game changing cars tailored to a local environment - small scale auto manufacturing made to suit the needs of a local area.

When we found out about Better Places' plan to roll out regional recharging networks as steps on the way to becoming a global, electric-car, grid operator, we were inspired. What a great thing for the planet and for car manufacturers. It is a big challenge for them, but then again, so is building a car so it makes sense to split those challenges apart - 1) making the batteries and recharging solution and 2) making the cars to run on them.

So far, there is at least one major OEM, which has announced its intention to roll out a line of cars made to recharge on the Better Place grid. That is great news, only those cars are not that inspiring, and they appear to be the same car for every network location.

We think that our community could deliver a solution that is tailor made for each Better Place network, and in so doing, design a car that is something that you HAVE to own in addition to all of its other benefits, rather than something that you buy reluctantly only because it is the sensible choice and gives a tax break. Why not have all those juicy benefits AND wow the neighbors with your cool, beautiful, sexy, gotta-have-it vehicle. Too much to ask? Depends on what company you ask.

We are so confident of our community's ability to deliver these concepts that we chose a local network area that we imagined could work for Better Place's roll-out strategy, and then we created a competition around it. This could be the first of several competitions that we run in order to flesh out the Better Place idea.

So watch closely as competition entries develop and begin flowing in next week.

If you are inspired to make a difference in the world, and you live in a place where you could see an electric recharging grid being built, THIS is a great time to get involved. Support and critique the competition entries as they flow into Checkup this week, and then vote for them when they start coming in next Monday, September 15th.


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