The man behind Better Place is Shai Agassi. "He conceived the idea at a workshop session for young leaders organized by the World Economic Forum, then outlined his vision for battery-swapping electric cars at a 2007 presentation at Washington's Brookings Institution, in which he claimed to have devised a way to run a country without oil." This riveted the attention of Israeli President Shimon Peres, who remains a key backer of the company and has described Agassi as "a brilliant man".
"Renault, whose CEO Carlos Ghosn is betting his company's future on electric cars, gave Agassi's business crucial support by promising to supply 100,000 electric Fluences by 2016 to Israel and Denmark – where Better Place is also installing a nationwide network. To put this in perspective, there are just a few thousand electric cars now on the road in north America and Europe"