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British PM Gordon Brown with Shai Agassi and Idan Ofer
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown discusses Project Better Place last July with its founder Shai Agassi. Behind him is Better Place Chairman Idan Ofer. Brown recently pledged &#pound;100 million to make his country the 'European capital for electric cars.'

Making the World a 'Better Place' for Electric Vehicles

Better Place Manager for Strategic Operations Sven Thesen addresses Set America Free conference

By EV World

Arlington Heights, Illinois was the site of the Set America Free conference featuring a roster of experts on national security, alternative fuels and electric vehicle technology, including EV World's publisher and editor in chief who moderated the electric car panel.

The panel included 'Internal Combustion' author Edwin Black, 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' celebrity Chelsea Sexton, and Better Place manager for strategic operations, Sven Thesen, formerly with Pacific Gas & Electric.

In this exclusive EV World Television video, Thesen introduces the conference attendees to the business model behind Better Place, which is now working to deploy a cellular telephone-like network of electric car recharging and battery exchange stations starting in Israel, followed by Denmark and, most recently, Australia. The Renault-Nissan Alliance is collaborating with Better Place on developing a new fleet of electric cars.

The California-based start-up has $200 million in working capital, with their new Australian joint venture on the hunt for another $1 billion. Other governments are talking to the company, as well.

While it obviously simplifies the concept, Thesen used his children to explain how the business works. It owns the batteries and if a customer's pack needs replacing, it will happen in just minutes time, he contends. Once a pack has reached the end of its useful life powering the car, it can be repurposed in buildings to store off-peak power that can help the building owner cut their peak energy loads.

He explained that the intelligence to track electric power usage will be on the vehicle. Acting as the middle man between the utility and the car owner, Better Place will know how much energy the car uses and will subtract that amount from the homeowner's monthly utility bill. Based on the service plan the customer selects, the customer choices how much they pay for their personal mobility needs.

He notes also that the power to run the cars will be generated by renewable energy: solar in Israel, wind in Denmark and Norway.

Times Article Viewed: 7658
Published: 11-Nov-2008

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