Better Place Closes Massive $350M Round

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Capitalism is endorsing a future of Electric Vehicles, the startup Closes Massive $350M Round of funding from venture capitalists.

I think this is a great thing to be built (with someone else's money). However as an expensive first generation network infrastructure, I would not be surprised to see the company go bankrupt, unable to pay back fixed costs, wiping out these capitalists, (or at least the bondholders getting nearly 100% equity at the expense of the original shareholders) and someone else pick up the pieces the company and make a go of it.

The other risk is that batteries get good enough they don't need to be swapped out as frequently and can be recharged more quickly at home and workplaces, again obviating the need for this expensive network of stations.

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Thought: The density of gas stations is probably driven, at least in part, by informational issues. When I need gas in an unfamiliar neighborhood, it's convenient that I'll probably pass a random gas station before long, or at the next exit. That's the old way of doing things.

However, it's highly feasible for every swappable-electric car to be equipped with a navigational system that tells you how to get to the nearest battery station. (For that matter, your credit card could already be authorized as you rolled up to the station.) So a new distribution network might get away with being much sparser than legacy networks.

David Levinson

Network Reliability in Practice

Evolving Transportation Networks

Place and Plexus

The Transportation Experience

Access to Destinations

Assessing the Benefits and Costs of Intelligent Transportation Systems

Financing Transportation Networks

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on May 15, 2010 7:35 AM.

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