A Day In the Life of a Better Place Electric Car

By Bill Moore

Posted: 15 Sep 2009

I have to hand it to Shai Agassi and the folks at Better Place, they seem to really have a knack for knowing how to imagine an EV World, at least from their perspective, as this video amply demonstrates. Using a nifty combination of live action and computer animation, Better Place takes you on a journey into a day in the life of a fictitious but believable subscriber, a young architect with a precocious daughter.

Renault-Nissan Alliance introduced a quartet of electric car today at the Frankfurt auto show, one of them -- the Renault Fluence ZE concept -- has the ability to "Quickdrop" its battery pack using Better Place's prototype automated battery exchange system, which the company demonstrated in Japan earlier this year.

As EV World's German correspondent, Martin Schwoerer learned from BP spokesperson John Proctor, the company has placed an order for 100,000 charging stations from Flextronics for installation in Australia, Denmark and Israel by 2011. Presumably these will be similar to the ones depicted the video.

Also demonstrated in the video is the firm's wireless and Internet-based IT network that allows the driver to check the status of their vehicle -- which is, in effect, leased from the company under its current business model -- find nearby charging and battery exchange stations, get driving driving directions and communicate with the owner's home network.

In countries where fuel prices are high and incentives are in place that give electric cars significant tax breaks, the Better Place system appears to make a great deal of sense. In fact, it could serve as an alternative model to automobile ownership distinct from buying or leasing the car outright. You buy a transportation service plan based on the miles you drive. At the end of the plan, you turn in the car or you may actually get it keep it.

Despite its share of skeptics, Better Place keeps moving forward, to which Frankfurt is another important milestone.

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