In preparation for its launch in Israel later this year, Better Place today announced the company's infrastructure deployment roadmap for the country and previewed the full solution at one of the company's battery switch stations. The deployment roadmap presents a nationwide view of how the Better Place network of charging infrastructure will provide complete coverage to electric car drivers, giving customers the freedom to drive from one end of the country to the other in an electric car with virtually no range limitations.
As part of the deployment plan, Better Place exposed the locations for the first nine of 40 Battery Switch Stations that will be deployed by the end of this year in locations across Israel including: Hadera, Modi'in, Mahanaim, Mitzpeh Ramon, Be'er Sheva, Yavne, Beit Shean and Bilu Junction. To date, Better Place has signed 400 agreements with parking lot owners across Israel to deploy thousands of charge spots with the first 200 sites already under construction. In addition, 27 municipalities have signed agreements to ensure that Better Place charge spots are deployed in central locations in their respective cities.
"By the end of this year, the solution you see here will be visible across the country - giving drivers the freedom to drive zero emission, zero oil cars with the same convenience they enjoy today", said Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO of Better Place. "This model, will serve as a template for countries around the world to replicate as they march down the path towards oil independence."
"Three and half years ago we made a commitment to Israeli drivers, and today we stand ready to deliver on that commitment with a solution that is working and ready for deployment," said Moshe Kaplinsky, CEO of Better Place Israel. "Thanks to the hundreds of employees here in Israel and cooperation with leading global and Israeli technology companies that share our vision, we are on track and ready for the arrival of the electric vehicles later this year."
The Better Place solution takes a systems approach to solving for the historic barriers to electric car adoption - namely convenience and affordability - by offering customers a complete driving solution from the purchase of the car through its operation and maintenance. For the first time, drivers have a single point of contact for their driving and fueling needs.
Drivers buy the car without the battery and sign up for a Better Place membership package based on kilometers/miles driven. By separating the ownership of the car and the battery, Better Place is able to remove the driver burdens of cost, acquisition, maintenance, warranty, and residual value concerns. As part of the package, customers have access to the entire Better Place solution which includes:
- Installation of private Charge Spot
- Unlimited access to Better Place's network of public Charge Spots
- Unlimited access to Better Place's network of automated Battery Switch Stations
- Personalized energy management and navigation services via in-car and network software
- Access to an inventory of batteries with a guaranteed service level agreement
- 24-hour access to customer service and support
- Energy usage
Last fall, the company began the process of testing the entire solution working together, a process that will continue and scale until commercial launch. Prior to that, each element of the solution went through rigorous, independent field tests as part of the company's ongoing development cycle. This critical process allows Better Place to examine all of the solution elements operating together, and focus on refining the overall user experience and system capabilities under numerous driving scenarios. As part of this process, more than 25 electric cars travel the roads of Israel daily, operated by full-time, private drivers, who drive the cars 20 hours per day, in order to evaluate system and vehicle functionality at all hours of the day and in varying weather or road conditions. This process will continue to expand and will later include consumers who have already expressed a desire to take part in the electric car revolution and are among the first to make the switch.
Following demonstrations of the battery switch technology with prototype vehicles in Yokohama and Tokyo, Japan, Better Place today also revealed the battery switch process for the Renault Fluence Z.E., the first mass market electric vehicle set to launch in Israel and Denmark at the end of this year.
The battery switch experience is a simple, fully-automated process that together with the Renault Fluence Z.E. gives drivers the autonomy of unlimited range. Customers simply swipe their membership card, which authenticates the car and subscription via the Operations Center to activate the switch. The rest of the process is automated, similar to going through a car wash, so the driver never has to leave the car. In less than five minutes, a robotic arm removes the depleted battery and replaces it with a full one and the driver is back on the road.
Also previewed today is the Better Place in-car software platform that provides the interface between the customer, the battery, the car and Better Place. The combination of GPS, navigation, and energy management eliminates range anxiety by letting the driver know how much energy they have at any given time and the location of the closest Battery Switch Station or Charge Spot.
The key to the entire system is the Operations Center, which can manage all of the company's networks around the world. It works in real-time communicating with the utility or grid operator on energy supply and demand from cars plugged in to the network, helps to prioritize customer charging, and optimize the battery inventory. In addition, the Operations Center gives a 24/7 view of the network and how it is performing allowing for the best possible customer service.
"The full Better Place solution is ready for deployment. With this solution, we deliver an innovative and complete driving package that will provide drivers with a better experience than what they have today with gasoline, driving the transition to oil-free transportation in Israel." said Tal Agassi, Vice President of Infrastructure Deployment at Better Place.
About Better Place
Better Place is the electric car network that makes driving more affordable, convenient and sustainable through a revolutionary switchable battery model. Better Place is building the infrastructure and intelligent network to deliver a range of services to drivers, enable widespread adoption of electric vehicles, and optimize energy use. The Better Place network addresses historical limitations to adoption by providing unlimited driving range in a convenient and accessible manner. The company works with all parts of the transportation ecosystem, including automakers, battery suppliers, energy companies, and the public sector, to create a compelling solution. Based in California and privately held, Better Place has operating companies in Israel, Denmark, and Australia.
For more attend Electric Vehicles - Land Sea Air Europe 2011
which has now been renamed from Future of Electric Vehicles to reflect its unique covering of the whole subject.
Also read Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure .
Source: Better Place
Image source: Color Cubic