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EV Pioneer Shai Agassi Wins Benz Award

Honored for “Oustanding commitment…to the future.”

by on Jul.25, 2011

Better Place founder Shai Agassi.

One of the founders of the “e-mobility” movement has been honored with an award named after the inventor of the automobile.  Shai Agassi , founder of A Better Place, which has offered a unique solution for getting electric vehicles on the road, has received the first Bertha-Carl-Benz Award from the city of Mannheim, Germany.

“Shai Agassi has inspired us with his contribution to mobility and addressing the climate challenge and it is because of his efforts that we have awarded him this special gift,” said Mannheim Mayor Dr. Peter Kurz.

A graduate of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Agassi was a rising star in the information technology field, having founded several fast-growing start-ups, including Quicksoft Ltd.  In 2007, he was considered the likely next CEO of IT giant SAP.  But in 2008, with the Israeli government pressing to set up an electric vehicle network, Agassi raised $111 million to fund what became A Better Place.

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Working with partners including Renault and Nissan, Agassi developed an unusual approach to battery power that would sidestep two of the critical problems with electric vehicles — limited range and long charge times – by allowing a motorist to simply swap out batteries about as quickly as it would take to re-fuel a conventional vehicle.