Electric Car Network: Green Motoring Moves Closer To Reality
Motoring Channel Staff - 24/October/2008
Electric Vehicle Network: Green power
coming to an Australian city near you
The Chevrolet Volt, likely to be a Holden Volt when it
arrives in Australia in 2012, will be one of the plug-in
electric vehicles able take advantage of an EV network
Electric Vehicle Network
What's the purpose of an EV network, if you can just plug your car into the wall socket at night to recharge it?
first generation of plug-in electric cars are limited (via their
battery technology) to driving short distances. The range of most
electric vehicles arriving in Australia in 2012 will be around 60km to
100km which is where charging infrastructure comes in, extending their
also interesting to note that an investment
bank like Macquarie has managed to raise such capital and is pouring
big bucks into the venture, especially considering how hard it is to
come by large amounts of cash during the current global financial
deal is also being looked at by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and the bean
counters seem to like it: "Better Place is a simple and practical
solution to the
enormous climate change challenge facing Australia. It is a wonderful
example of a low carbon transport solution that is feasible,
cost-effective and can achieve results on a scale meaningful to the
problem," commented Michael Molitor, PWC's senior adviser on carbon
new EV network could end up being like a telecommunications network,
whereby vendors - such as Toyota, Holden, Ford and so forth - would pay
fees to Better Place so that their cars can use the Better Place
the Better Place corporation
has an existing partnership with Renault-Nissan which throws up the
question of preferential treatment. However Better Place claims
"The company is committed to open network access and leverages industry
standards, allowing consumers to have a choice of make and model."
Interesting times ahead, no doubt about it.
- Feann Torr, Editor
Melbourne, Australia —
In just three years time, we could be filling up or
'recharging' our silent cars at green energy hubs instead of
A new consortium formed by a troika of serious investors has plans to develop an electric vehicle network in Australia.
new electric vehicle network would be the third such infrastructure
rollout in the world, with plans underway in the Middle East and Europe.
The biggest hurdle facing the impending green car revolution -
including cars running via electricity and hydrogen fuel cells - is the infrastructure.
with the backing of a consortium formed by the Macquarie Capital Group,
AGL, and Better Place, Australia could be set usher in a new era of
motoring with an electric vehicle (EV) network powered by renewable
hydrogen powered car is still many decades away because of the cost
involved in both storing the volatile fuel, and also in generating
However the energy source for electric cars fitted
with rechargable lithium batteries is much more widely available:
three corporations that plan on being pioneers in the field
of EV networks, expected to be ready in Australia in 2012, appear
to havethe blessing of the
Victorian State Premier, John Brumby, which is a positive indication that progress can be made.
"The Victorian Government supports
any initiative that will have positive outcomes in reducing emissions
in the transport sector and welcomes this innovative approach to help
make broad adoption of EVs in Australia possible," said Mr Brumby.
Macquarie bank will provide the cash, around $1 billion; Better
Place will draw up the plans, provide the technology and maintain the infrastructure;
AGL will supply green electricity from sources such as wind and
The reason that AGL wants to be in on the project is to
supply green energy to car drivers, so that the electricity used to charge the vehicles
is not generating CO2, which is currently the case with 90% of the electricity
generation in Australia (which comes from burning coal).
In this way, cars running on the new EV network would be carbon neutral and AGL would receive an eco-friendly PR boost.
"Because EVs charge primarily at night, they
can maximise the potential of intermittent renewable energy such as
wind," said AGL's Jeff Dimery.
the Californian-based renewable energies corporation Better Place, this
EV network will allow the upcoming generation of plug-in electric
vehicles to charge rapidly with clean electricity, and is a "model for
sustainable mobility [that] will help Australia move toward oil
Place's EV network is a scalable model, which has been adopted by
Denmark and Israel for use in 2011 and is being proposed for Melbourne,
and is expected to be ready in 2012.
world's sixth largest country, our network build out in Australia
will demonstrate that the Better Place model works in all countries,
regardless of size," said Shai Agassi, the CEO of Better
"We are investing in Australia's economy and adding
jobs while helping the country take a generational leap forward toward
"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 Southeast Asia," Agassi added.
Investment power house Macquarie Capital Group will fund the EV network to the tune of around $1 billion.
Better Place business model is game changing and represents
an exciting opportunity for Australian consumers, the environment,
domestic automakers, the renewable energy sector, local industry and
workers to move to the forefront of the energy revolution," said David
Roseman, the head adviser of infrastructure and utilities at Macquarie
vehicles represent a more affordable alternative to the conventional
combustion powered vehicle. We believe the combination of a
competitively priced vehicle, being driven by cheaper and cleaner fuel
is a compelling business case," Roseman said.
The Electric Vehicle Network
Under the new plan for east coast cities in Australia, including Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, there
would be charging areas setup in car parks, shopping centres and
places frequented by drivers to recharge their vehicles.
network is being compared to a mobile phone network, where the charging
stations would be equivalent to the mobile phone towers that enable
telephony possible, and would eventually pop up across cities and their
According to the consortium, the charging
devices would look like parking meters and would comprise of cabling to
connect electric vehicles to the green energy grid.
first generation of electric cars will have limited cruising ranges,
this bold new EV network plan will also provide battery switching
stations on highways and outer suburbs, where drivers can instantly top
up their batteries for extended journeys.
- Chevrolet Volt (2011)
- Toyota Prius (2010)
- Mini E (2009)
- Holden AFM V8 + EcoLine (2009)
- Peugeot HYmotion3 (2008)
- Ze-O Electric Car & Lexus Hybrids (2008)
& E85 Issues (2007)