Blogging from Gigaom Green:Net – on electric cars and the free wi-fi model

Interesting panel on electric cars at Green:Net. One of the ideas batted around was, who pays for the electricity and what’s the business model? One option is the “free-wifi-if-you-stay-and-buy-another-latte” model. What if you got free electricity while shopping?

…Mark Perry from Nissan pointed out that retailers know down to the dollar how much it is worth in revenue to keep us in their store for one more minute. What if you lingered in the mall for an extra half-hour after work while your Nissan Leaf charges up for free  in the parking garage?

I think this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of ingenious business models that will make the cost to operate (and the up-front cost) of pure electric and plug-in hybrids cheaper. For example, while lithium-ion batteries in these cars are expensive, utilities are beginning to explore the value of that battery for storing power and feeding it back to the grid during peak demand hours. What if the car owner doesn’t have to buy the battery, but just rents it from the utility in exchange for acting as a standby peak power plant on wheels?


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