Alternatives to 'Project Better Place' Being Pushed by Electric Car Companies

Utilities are skeptical because fast charging will contribute to peak demand as drivers charge up during the day.

Published: 19-May-2008

At a conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, representatives of several electric-vehicle companies said fast-charging stations would be more successful in the United States than Project Better Place’s plan to exchange empty batteries for charged ones.

“With the ability to do rapid charge, we see that playing more of a role than stations to exchange them,” Bryon Bliss, vice president of sales and marketing at Phoenix Motorcars, said at a panel on electric vehicles at the Alternative Fuels and Vehicles conference. “There are a lot of complications [in exchanging the batteries].”

Bliss said Phoenix cars equipped with batteries made by Altair Nanotechnologies can recharge 95 percent in 10 minutes. He also said that charging
stations would give drivers the option to take trips that are longer than a vehicles’ range.


Powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries and two 67bhp (50kW) electric motors to drive the front and rear axles, the Mixim is a four-wheel-drive car with a theoretical top speed of 112mph and a potential maximum range of 156 miles.

Dodge ZEO is 2+2 electric muscle car for the 21st century powered by 200kW electric drive with 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and range of 250 miles.

The Air Car may do better than fuel-cell cars, but experts say that using grid power to charge a battery-powered electric vehicle is much more efficient than using electricity to compress and store the same amount of energy in a tank.


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