Better Place has entered a partnership with the government of Ontario to help bring an electric car network to the province and create a model for the adoption of electric cars in Canada. Ontario is one of North America’s largest car producing regions.
Better Place will establish its Canadian head office in Ontario, and build an electric vehicle demonstration and education center in Toronto to lay the groundwork to help get electric vehicles running on Ontario roads. The province has committed to conducting a comprehensive study which will look at ways to speed up the introduction and adoption of electric vehicles. The study is scheduled for release in May 2009. At the same time, Better Place will be developing an electric car charging network plan and timeline.
Under the Better Place model (earlier post), the company plans and installs a network of charge spots and battery exchange stations. Much like the mobile phone model, Better Place installs and operates the network of charging infrastructure, while leading auto manufacturers produce electric cars for the Better Place network. Better Place sources renewable energy to power the network, creating a zero emission solution from generation to grid to transportation.
Better Place provides the batteries to make owning an electric car affordable and convenient. Better Place will install charge spots in parking spaces at home, at work, and at retail locations, which enable the network to automatically top off the electric car. For distances longer than what most people drive in a given day, drivers will pull into battery exchange stations to swap a depleted battery for a fresh one.
Macquarie will partner with Better Place as financial advisor on developing a network rollout plan and investment timeline for Ontario.
The Better Place network of electric car charging infrastructure is built on open standards. One goal of the growing Better Place ecosystem, which includes The Renault-Nissan Alliance, is giving consumers a wide range of choices when it comes to vehicle make and model. The Japanese Ministry of the Environment also has invited Better Place and major Japanese carmakers to participate in a major electric car project there.
Better Place is working with partners to build its first standards-based networks in Israel, Denmark, Australia, California and Hawaii. Better Place will activate networks on a country-by-country basis with initial deployments beginning in 2010.