Mobility Innovation for a Better Place (A)

Authors: Orsato, R; Van Wassenhove, Luk; Hemne, S.
Source: INSEAD - The Business School for the World
Year: 2009
Number of pages: 14

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In 2007, Shai Agassi raised $200 million to launch Better Place. By deploying a network of charge spots, switch stations and systems that optimised the use of electric vehicles, the company had the potential to become a major player in the transport industry. To succeed, however, it had to overcome major implementation challenges, among them the need to achieve a minimum level of standardisation for the interface between vehicles and the recharging grid, and the continuous need to finance its market expansion. The case allows students to explore: (1) how an innovative business model has the potential to create new market space and reduce environmental impacts; (2) the emergence of cross-industry reconfigurations for a low-carbon economy; and (3) the commercial risks of sustainability-driven business in the realm of transportation.

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