Yesterday Better Place announced that Canberra would be the first site in the national rollout of its electric vehicle recharge network.
Construction of the network will begin in 2011, with services available to electric vehicle owners from 2012.
ActewAGL – the electricity distribution business and retailer in the ACT – responsible for sourcing and distributing the renewable energy that Better Place will use to power electric vehicles within the ACT. “A significant influence on our decision to choose Canberra was the enthusiasm and support we have received from Michael Costello and his team at ActewAGL” said Evan Thornley, Chief Executive Officer of Better Place Australia.
The deployment of the network will include:
- Recyclable lithium-ion batteries that will power the electric vehicles and be provided as part of the service to drivers, reducing the up-front costs of purchasing an electric vehicle;
- Charge spots in homes, offices, shopping centres and other car parks where drivers can plug in to keep their battery fully charged; and
- “Battery Swap Stations” where motorists can drive in and have a depleted battery automatically exchanged for a fresh, fully charged one.
The vision of Shai Agassi, Better Place founder, is for electric vehicles to be cheaper and more convenient than fossil fuel powered cars. Australia is one of three countries where the technology is being rolled out globally. Its great to see this vision now being translated into concrete plans.