Better Place

February 19, 2009

Let’s shift to global warming, the world oil crisis – and Israel, where a smart entrepreneur called Shai Agassi has dreamed up a project called Better Place which will see the whole country being set up with electric vehicles (EVs) from Nissan-Renault, a nation-wide network of charging spots, and software that automates the whole experience. If your car’s battery is low and you need to make a longer trip, you just drive to a battery exchange station and exchange it for a new one.

The Israeli government is involved, and the same is happening in Denmark, using excess energy generated at night by the country’s many wind turbines. Better Place is also negotiating in 25 other countries, involving many major automakers.

There’s a whole revolution brewing here. The German capital, Berlin, is gearing up for the installation of 500 EV charging posts around the city and 100 Mercedes-Benz electric cars powered by green electricity which will be available for public use in 2010.

Here in BC, where most of our electricity is green, a Better World EV network would work well in the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island – but not elsewhere, since distances are too large. For that, we need to wait for the Plug-In Hybrid EVs that almost every major automaker is promising by 2010.

In September, Chrysler surprised the world by announcing not one but four electric vehicles for probable delivery in 2010 - a Lotus-based Dodge EV sports car, a plug-in hybrid Minivan and Jeep Wrangler, and the low-speed Peapod Neighbourhood EV pictured here, which will be officially allowed on the streets of Oak Bay.

Smiley Car

First published in EcoNews: A monthly newsletter funded by your donations that dreams of a world blessed by the harmony of nature, the pleasures of community, and the joys of personal fulfillment, guided and protected by our active citizenship.


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