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GE and Better Place Partner to Accelerate EV Infrastructure Deployment; Integrating GE WattStation with Better Place Services

GE’s WattStation. Click to enlarge.

GE and Better Place have formed a technology and financing partnership to accelerate the global deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure through collaboration in four key areas: standards-based technology development; battery financing; joint fleet electrification programs; and consumer awareness.

The partnership combines GE’s global scale, broad technology portfolio, smart grid expertise, and its new WattStation Level 2 electric vehicle charger (earlier post) with Better Place’s EV services and infrastructure solution.

Our collaboration with GE is another significant step forward for Better Place as we seek to assemble a formidable ecosystem of industry leaders including Renault, HSBC and now GE that can help us scale our model globally. Our team of partners is committed to accelerating the acceptance of electric cars as more affordable and more convenient than our gasoline heritage.

—Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO, Better Place

The partnership includes collaboration in four areas:

  1. Standards-based technology: GE’s WattStation will be compatible with the Better Place service network. This partnership will allow consumers that manage charging costs under Better Place’s network to charge their vehicles using GE’s WattStation.

  2. Battery Financing: GE and Better Place will develop a battery financing program that begins with a pilot project to finance 10,000 batteries in Israel and Denmark, which are the first two markets for Better Place. This financing will further drive the early EV market in those countries, helping to bring the first 10,000 electric cars to consumers there.

  3. Fleet Electrification: GE and Better Place are collaborating to target fleet owners for pilot projects to test a comprehensive fleet electrification offering model in major city centers and connecting highways. The goal is to convert corporate fleet owners to electric fleets, so owners reap both the economic benefits of lower cost of ownership as well as reducing harmful carbon emissions.

    Target pilot locations include cities in North America, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Ontario, Canada, as well as cities in Europe, Asia and Australia. Better Place is already working towards initial network deployments in these markets, beginning in 2011.

  4. Consumer Awareness: Better Place and GE, as part of its ecomagination initiative, will focus on raising consumer awareness to understand the economic and environmental value of widespread adoption of electric transport and the infrastructure that is needed so make that level of adoption a reality.



I suppose you could envision every parking meter being a charging station, but if you are going to reduce gasoline consumption you need to get to the people that drive a lot of miles, the commuter.

Get charging stations put into company parking lots and you will make progress. Start companies that will install them free of charge and run them for profit. Few companies will go to the expense of installing charging stations because they are nice guys.


Nice guys are all on Wall Street, large banks and insurance firms.

However, there is nothing wrong with making a reasonable profit with charging stations. The wireless one could charge at higher (150%) rate.


GE and others rushing headlong into what I believe is a very foolish proposition: putting people into BEV's and fast charging on the go. The energy thus supplied very inefficiently considering line losses, etc. US electric generation on the margin is largely from NG turbines. It should be much more efficient overall to fuel the vehicle with CNG. Better still as a CNG hybrid and charging overnight.


How about an M85/FFV/PHEV using the natural gas for methanol? No large, heavy tanks with high pressures and you can dispense M85 from any gasoline station at very low conversion cost. You can even synthesize the 15% gasoline from methanol or synthesis gas. Once you get M100 in filling stations for blend at the pump, you have M100 for cars with fuel injection heaters and PEM fuel cells with methanol reformers.


We could use all of these new energy formats. See which ones really excel. I DO NOT GET Agassi's insistence on battery swapping! 10k batteries? To fit into WHAT EV?? Are the elves at work building modular EVs in Santa's workshop?

Where does Agassi think these modular battery driven vehicles are coming from? The good fairy?


Battery swaps are one of his big things. He sees himself as a visionary and sells that to others. It could just be delusional, but enough are going for it right now.


The proposed solution seems very good : battery swaps AND recharging. Choose the one you like most at any moment. If you need to drive long distances, then swap at the swapping stations. If you leave your car for a few hours, then recharge.
Maybe even an additional range extender (a fuel-cell + fueltank could be very small and cheap)

By the time the amount of electric cars becomes relevant for the national electricity consumption, we will have plenty of green electricity to charge them.


"Where does Agassi think these modular battery driven vehicles are coming from? The good fairy?"

Renault is making them now, they are planning on 200k I think.. or maybe 100k, cant remember now. Google is your friend.


IMO, I don't think battery swaps will fly. In the city you don't need them and in the country you don't have them.

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