Chevy Volt v. Better Place - Which is a niche?
Just came across some ramblings on Autobloggreen regarding Shai Agassi's comments calling the Chevy Volt a niche, which seemed to disturb the author.
Instead of buying a $40,000 car, Project Better Place would have drivers pay to access a network of charging spots and conveniently located battery exchange stations powered by renewable energy, plus a mileage fee. This, according to Project Better Place, would make cars much more affordable, even free in some markets.
Before getting too hot and bothered, both the Volt and Project Better Place need to prove their technology. Still, study after study after study demonstrates that consumers are primarily focused on up front costs when buying a new vehicle. Thus, it's obvious that Project Better Place's cell phone business model has potential.
Nonetheless, it will take decades to develop the infrastructure required for Project Better Place to work in America. One day, however, such a model could make range extended electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids nothing but niches. Of course, one day both vehicles might actually be sold in the real world.....one day. Until then, anything is possible.