Posts Tagged ‘Electric Car’

Taking charge in a new electric world

July 4, 2010

As I said last week, a big strategic challenge for any business is recognising shifts in the external environment which may represent threats or opportunities to existing sources of income.

One clearly declining ‘product’ in the face of technological change (i.e. the rise of mobile phones) has been the public phonebox.

It’s very cool to see a telecoms company thiking laterally about this costly legacy infrastructure. Telekom Austria has started converting some of their phoneboxes into recharge stations for electric vehicles.

How clever to tap into a hot trend early. Phoneboxes are likely to be in high-traffic areas, are hard for NIMBY residents to object to (given they boxes are already in situ), and may well have some of the power infrastructure (they are lit at least).

While I have little-to-no faith in Aussie equivalent Telstra being so proactive, this does strike me as an example Better Place should be looking at.

What other public infrastructure could be adapted to better/greener use?

h/t: Springwise

A political connection makes for a Better Place

January 21, 2009

Interesting to see that one of this Blog’s earlier discussion points – the Better Place electric car consortium – is back in the local news. 

It turns out former state parlimentarian and ministerial possibility Evan Thornley will be heading up their Australian operations. Of course, this is raising some understandable concerns about conflicts of interest (see this Crikey discussion).

It does make sense that the consortium would go for a post-industrial entrepreneur (Thornley was one of the few Aussie dot-commers to walk away with serious cash from the bubble – he was a founder of Looksmart) and one with political connections.  The Better Place business model is heavily reliant on such infrastructure and personal networks if it is to work.

It remains to be seen whether this furore over conflict of interest might significantly undermine Thornley’s social capital.