Better Place to mass Produce Low-Emission Vehicles

Written by Administrator
Sep 11, 2009 at 04:00 PM

One of the world’s leading developers of low-emission vehicles has agreed to produce tens of thousands of vehicles a year starting in 2011, marking one of the most significant developments so far in green transport. In collaboration with the French car maker Renault, Better Place has plans to initially sell the cars in Denmark and Israel, with scope for expansion.

Green cars up to now have tended to be somewhat cramped in terms of space, so Renault’s promise to develop a saloon and a van along with the compact city car will be music to the ears of people seeking to convince customers to adopt the green cars.

(source: picture by TEDizen from Flickr’s creative commons)

In order to have access to the lithium batteries, drivers will need to sign up for a contract with Better Place, broadly similar to a current cell phone contract. Although this may not initially be cheap, the expansion of production is expected to bring the cost down significantly. Batteries can be recharged at home (ideally overnight, as the process takes some hours to fully charge a battery) or swapped at a dedicated swap station in under five minutes. The plans are to make nearly a hundred swap stations available around Denmark, making “refuelling” as easy as filling your petrol tank. Recharging spots will also be available at car parks and on streets, allowing drivers to top up as and when necessary.

The development is currently of major importance to Denmark, which is due to host the UN’s Climate Change summit in December. As the world’s leaders seek to broker a meaningful deal to reduce the level of carbon emissions, the host nation and particularly its capital Copenhagen will be looking to set an example as the world’s eyes are trained on it. As part of the recently agreed deal with Better Place, electric cars will be made available during the conference for drivers to try them out. An existing Danish law makes parking free for drivers of electric cars, so it is to be expected that people will be keen to try out the new cars for themselves. Should the Copenhagen initiative work out, the likelihood of the initiative being expanded further is high.

Last Updated ( Sep 11, 2009 at 04:06 PM )

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