Monday, April 21, 2008

Electric cars are coming

I am at the Fortune Brainstorm Green Conference in Pasadena. Today's first session was a pleasant surprise: it looks like we will have real, workable electric cars on the road in the next two years.

Shai Agassi is taking the approach of selling electric cars in Israel and Denmark like cell phones - he believes that he will be able to give the cars away in return for a three or four year contract to service the cars (including electricity and batteries).

Jan-Olaf Willums is already producing the Think Car (pictured here) in Europe and will soon bring it to the US with backing from Kleiner Perkins and others.

Both cars will go about 100 miles between charges. Some say that is too little. But guess what? 95% of car trips are less than 100 miles.

[Kudos to Marc Gunther of Fortune for putting this conference together.]

And David Roberts is blogging this conference over at GristMill (scroll down after clicking link).