The Global View

Shai Agassi asks for people’s voice

Shai Agassi really is one of the most inspiring people Greenbang has ever met.

He’s the man behind Project Better Place, a business that looks to move people over to economies that rely on clean alternatives to oil.

We’re publishing his press release in full because we like what he’s doing, although we’ve heard there have been a few sticking points with the design of his electric cars.

Thing is, even if that’s true, it’s unlikely to stop Shai. If you meet him, you’ll understand. Here’s our interview with him.

Anyway – Mr Shai…

Palo Alto, Calif. (July 28, 2008) – In its ongoing effort to help people live free from oil, Better Place announced today the unveiling of its new brand identity and online campaign aimed at connecting people online with a shared mission and goal. In addition to the company name and Web site (www.betterplace.com) refresh, Better Place launched a dynamic and uniquely animated logo that visually represents the core pillars on which the company stands – people, planet, prosperity and plug.

Better Place is moving the world off of oil by redefining the economics and experience of transportation – but it cannot do it alone. As part of today’s announcement, Better Place also launched its “10 Words” campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to provide a platform via “minifestos” for people to voice their reasons for ending the world’s addiction to oil.

“Across the globe, people are feeling the pain of rising prices at the pump,” said Joe Paluska, Chief Marketing Officer, Better Place. “We’re calling upon the community to tell the world why we must end our addiction to oil. The switch from oil to electric transportation is inevitable.”

The Better Place Model
As a true mobile operator, Better Place delivers transportation as a sustainable service. The company is building the infrastructure needed for the successful widescale deployment of zero-emission electric vehicles (ZEV) powered by renewable sources of energy.

To do so, Better Place partners with the world’s leading automakers to create the EVs; battery manufacturers to build clean, safe batteries; energy companies to accelerate the migration to renewable energy; and policy makers to lessen the economic and social grip that oil has on nations. The Better Place research and development team integrates existing technology components through Better Place software, charge spots and battery exchange stations so that driving an EV will be as convenient as driving a gas-fueled car.

Tell Us Your “Minifesto”
Through the company’s 10 Words campaign, Better Place is asking everyone to create their own minifesto answering the question in 10 words or less: Why do you think we must end our addiction to oil? By creating a minifesto, people from around the world are given a public platform to express their personal reasons for ending our dependence on oil.

How it works: A contributor must first choose from one of Better Place’s four core pillars to identify the overarching reason why they want to end oil dependency. For example:

People: to provide a sustainable and enjoyable driving experience for all

Planet: to recover from climate change

Prosperity: to create new economic opportunity

Plug: to see zero-emission, electric cars rule the road

Next, they must enter their 10 words, name and photo. The system will automatically integrate their message into a personalized animated minifesto – in practical terms, a short online movie published on http://10words.betterplace.com and available to share with friends, embed in blogs, other Web sites or community profile pages.

The World’s First Dynamic Animated Brand
Teamed with branding firm Addis Creson, Better Place designed its visual brand elements, including a logo, to incorporate not only the name and “switch” (the icon), but also clever animation. The switch portion of the logo dons a sky blue color that reflects not only the color of Planet Earth, but also the spirit of optimism.

When animated, the logo quarters transform into various graphical images reminiscent of the brand, including quotation marks, a butterfly, a lighthouse lens, a bird, and even the letters of the alphabet. Wherever and whenever possible, the logo will be leveraged in motion graphics, on LED signage and the Internet.

To experience the Better Place brand and learn more about how you can participate in the 10 Words campaign, please visit: www.betterplace.com.

About Better Place
Better Place is a venture-backed company that aims to reduce global dependency on oil through the creation of a market-based transportation infrastructure that supports electric vehicles, providing consumers with a cleaner, sustainable, personal transportation alternative. Launched in October 2007, Better Place will build its first Electric Recharge Grids in Israel and Denmark and plans to activate the infrastructure on a country-by-country basis with initial deployments beginning in 2010.