In my mind, this almost seems like the chicken and the egg scenario. What comes first? Infrastructure for electric cars that promotes their use, or the widespread adoption of electric cars, which makes infrastructure more economically palatable for a company to build? Clearly here, Better Place betted on first building infrastructure to entice the use of electric cars, and it failed. But it raises the question of how electric cars will be supported when you are away from home? If you drive across the country, where are the “gas stations” for electric cars? Would more electric cars be used here in the US if that infrastructure existed? I’m not very familiar with the electric car scene – this was very informative!
Couldn’t agree more with this write up – great post! We’re seeing this in the submarine industry as well, with countries like India buying submarines from Russia. I can’t imagine what it is like to use a complex piece of equipment such as a rocket that was designed in a country that doesn’t exist anymore (USSR) with a different language/design philosophy/system of measurement. But, given the fact that these engines are laying around, are there any other uses for them, if we don’t trust them for actual launch use? Could Orbital Sciences keep the same operating model and just shift their line of business by finding creative uses for the engines? (Education/training/testing parts/testing fuels…)
Also, I had no idea about the Orbital Sciences/HBS connection. Very interesting!