Infrastructure plans for electric vehicles

Thursday, 23 October, 2008

Better Place, which has partnered with AGL Energy and Macquarie Capital Group, plans to use its scalable model, which Israel and Denmark have adopted, to build an electric vehicle (EV) network in Australia. Macquarie will assist in business development and help raise AU$1 billion for the network build. AGL will provide electricity from renewable sources to power the electric cars.

“As the world’s sixth largest country, our network build out in Australia will demonstrate that the model works in all countries, regardless of size,” said Shai Agassi, CEO and founder of Better Place. “We are investing in Australia’s economy and adding jobs while helping the country take a generational leap forward toward oil independence.” Agassi added, “With our commitment to build infrastructure and the federal government’s $500 million Green Car Innovation Fund, there is a compelling case for automobile manufacturers to jump in and build clean, safe, affordable electric cars for Australasia and South-East Asia.”

AGL Group general manager Jeff Dimery said this initiative will accelerate the shift toward renewables that’s already underway. “AGL is committed to increasing its renewable energy generation and believes it is important to collaborate and implement cross-industry initiatives to counter climate change. Because EVs charge primarily at night, they can maximise the potential of intermittent renewable energy such as wind.”

David Roseman, head of infrastructure and utilities advisory — Australasia, Macquarie Capital Group, said, “The Better Place business model is game changing … We believe the combination of a competitively priced vehicle being driven by cheaper and cleaner fuel is a compelling business case.”

Better Place has an existing partnership with The Renault-Nissan Alliance. It expects the first mass-market EV models to be available in Australia by the 2012 model year.


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