Better Place “on time and budget” for its EV recharge and battery swap site rollout  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

Go Auto has an article on Better Place Australia and their plans to start rolling out their network in 2011 - Better Place “on time and budget” for its EV recharge and battery swap site rollout.

BETTER Place Australia CEO Evan Thornley says the electric vehicle infrastructure company will prove sceptics wrong by ‘building it’ rather than ‘dreaming it’ when it starts rolling out its battery-swap and recharge stations in Australia, starting in Canberra in 2011.

Mr Thornley said Better Place was well advanced on its network plan for battery switch sites around the country, with at least one “in key districts and then more detailed site acquisitions to occur” as the rollout of EVs gathered pace.

“Most of those will occur in the second half of 2011 or early in 2012,” he said.

Speaking in Tokyo at the opening of Better Place’s world-first taxi battery swap station, Mr Thornley said he had overcome every obstacle put in his way.

He said opponents of Better Place’s pledge to ‘rid the world’s addiction to oil’ only had fear, uncertainty and doubt to rely on, and the company had continued to grow and attract investment, despite the global financial crisis and the massive trough the world’s car industry was in.

The company believes this momentum will continue as more Australians grasp the fact that – based on average mileages for vehicles – it will actually be significantly cheaper to switch from fossil fuel to electricity when mainstream EV sales commence. ...

Accessing ‘clean’ electricity that does not require brown coal or other carbon-releasing methods to make it is also one of Better Place Australia’s core goals.

Mr Thornley – a former Victorian Labor politician – explained that although wind power would probably be the company’s primary electricity source for Australia, the fact that it can come from a variety of generators without impacting the EV infrastructure or the car itself was another benefit.

These other sources will include geo thermal (“certainly if that is brought to industrial scale”), solar thermal, and clean coal technology “if that comes good”.

“We certainly don’t see the availability of premium electricity as a barrier at all,” he said. “We are very confident about plenty of renewable electricity being available.

“That’s an important point about EVs – your energy source is independent. You can move from one form of zero emissions electricity source to another without a single dollar of new investment in the car fleet or the charge network.”

However, Better Place Australia would not comment on whether it supports nuclear power sourcing.

“That’s not for us to comment. If the community decides that is the path it wants to go down, then it does. We are not in the business of advocating one way or another,” Mr Thornley said.

“We see plenty of zero emissions energy sources available today – and on a practical matter there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of any nuclear power being available in this country within the next 15 years anyway, so if or when it happens we will deal with that then.”


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