Better Place is developing a multi-faceted infrastructure to support and ease the expansion of the electric vehicle (EV) market.
Better Place's various solutions include:
- Batteries - Development of advanced lithium batteries through partnerships with storage companies like A123
- Charging stations - Networks of "charge spots" in office and public spaces to provide convenient charging
- Battery switch stations - Networks of "switch stations" to swap a depleted battery for a freshly-charged battery (did someone say the EGG-energy for EVs?), for customers that do not have time to wait for a charge. => this video demonstrates automated switch technology. It's pretty intense.
- EV driver services - Advanced in-car telematic systems that provide the driver a range of information about their driving experience, like the status of the battery, mileage, efficiency, locations of charge spots ... a Siri for the driver's needs.
- Standards - Development of EV standards for consumers and technology partners alike.
And my personal favorite...
- EV network software, or "EV smart grid software" - Software which monitors batteries in the network (either in vehicles or in switch stations), aggregates data, and anticipates energy demand to provide valuable information for utilities to optimize energy management on the grid. AND, with Better Place's infrastructure and associated software, the electric vehicles can serve as "distributed storage" for the grid, alleviating intermittency issues symptomatic to renewable energy sources like solar and wind - kind of like A123's storage solution for the Laurel Mountain Wind Farm.
Based in Palo Alto, Better Place's first markets will be Israel and Denmark where their EV networks will be launched by the end of the year!
Shifting the paradigm.
Let's hit the road.