October 23 2008 / by Garry Golden
Category: Environment Year: 2012 Rating: 2
Electric vehicle infrastructure start up Better Place continues to grab headlines with projects in Israel, Denmark and Hawaii. Now the company announced plans to build out infrastructure in Australia.
Infrastructure for Electricity & Hydrogen
Electric cars are coming but we will need to develop new infrastructure and business models that go beyond today’s notions of corner gas stations delivering liquid fuels to combustion engines.
Electric cars are likely to be powered by a combination of batteries, hydrogen fuel cells and capacitors. Not one energy storage device is expected to rule them all. And while the short-term strategy of extending the world’s electricity grid to vehicles seems logical, in a few years we might turn to the chemical storage of electricity via hydrogen to overcome cost and performance challenges of electron storage in batteries.
Electrification in Australia
Startup Better Place has announced agreements with AGL Energy and financial advisor Macquarie Capital Group to raise $1 billion (AUD) and begin deploying an electric vehicle (EV) network powered by renewable energy.
Australia has the world’s seventh highest per capita rate of car ownership, the country has nearly 15 million cars on the road after adding over a million new cars last year.
Victorian Premier John Brumby said, “The Victorian Government supports any initiative that will have positive outcomes in reducing emissions in the transport sector and welcomes this innovative approach to help make broad adoption of EVs in Australia possible.”
More on start up Better Place
Better Place is a mobility operator that aims to reduce oil dependence by delivering personal transportation as a sustainable service. Launched in 2007 with $200 million of venture funding, the company builds electric-vehicle networks powered by renewable energy to give consumers an affordable, sustainable alternative for personal mobility. Better Place is working with partners to build its first standards-based networks in Israel and Denmark. Better Place will activate networks on a country-by-country basis with initial deployments beginning in 2010.
Swap Out Model might go mainstream
Better Place’s most innovative business model is not its recharge station, but its ‘swap out’ business model which allows drivers to quickly replace old energy storage units for new ones. We believe that this retail based ‘swap out’ exchange could work particularly well with solid state hydrogen storage.
[More on retail based energy distribution later…!!]