Agassi mulls Japanese electric car venture

Nissan will probably manufacture the electric car, as well as its batteries.

Electric car entrepreneur Shai Agassi is in talks to set up an operating company in Japan for Project Better Place. Agassi is in the entourage accompanying Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on his visit to Japan.

Agassi has met with Japanese business leaders to reach an agreement on setting up a company, which would operate on a model similar to the model in Israel. Sources inform ''Globes'' that Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (TSE: 7201) will probably manufacture the electric car, as well as its batteries.

Agassi said, "The visit to Japan is part of the process of finding local partners who can participate in the project. There are talks with Japanese conglomerates on agreements." He declined to disclose any names, only saying, "We met with some and we've scheduled meetings with others."

Agassi added that although there a feasibility study to duplicate the model in several countries, there is a greater chance of success in Japan because, like Israel, Japan is a transportation island in terms of geography. In addition, the battery-based technology of the electric car suits Japan. He said that after the talks in Japan, Israel would serve as the test laboratory for the model.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on February 26, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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