28. Shai Agassi
for driving to make electric cars a reality.
CEO, Better Place | Palo Alto, Calif.
Israeli-born Shai Agassi is much more than a car-part inventor or a lithium-battery whiz: He's an electric-car prophet. Through his startup, Better Place, he has begun the crucial work of developing, and proselytizing for, the infrastructure necessary to make electric autos a mass-market success.
Agassi's sales pitch has global appeal: He has attracted more than $700 million in venture capital, and Australia, Denmark, Hawaii, and Israel have announced plans to build Agassi's networks. Tokyo's taxi drivers are already driving on the Better Place system, with San Francisco set to follow in 2011. Ranked third on Fast Company's list of the most creative people in business, Agassi said: "How do you run an entire country without oil, with no new science, … and in a time frame that's fast enough to get off oil before we run out of planet?" His answer, and increasingly the world's, is obvious.
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