Shay Agassi's electric car venture Better Place LLC today unveiled the components of its battery replacement and recharging network that it will operate in Israel later this year. The plan will initially include thousands of public and private recharging points for customers and some 40 battery replacement stations nationwide.
Better Place presented the first nine battery replacement stations, which are in the advanced construction stages. They are located in Hadera, Modi'in, Mahanayim in the Upper Galilee, Mitzpeh Ramon in the Negev, Beersheva, Yavne, Beit She'an, and Bilu Junction. The company is also installing thousands of recharging points at 400 parking lots. The company says that half of the recharging points are in the final stages of installation.
Better Place says that it has signed cooperation agreements with 27 municipalities to deploy the network in their jurisdictions. More than 350 companies have announced that they will consider converting their car fleets to electric cars. These companies operate more than 70,000 cars altogether.
Better Place also unveiled its electric car logistics center, the command and control system for managing the recharging network and customer support, and the driver's user interface in the car. The driver's user interface is an integrated computer system developed by Better Place and Continental Corporation AG (DAX: CON; Pink Sheets: CTTAY). It includes a navigation system for locating battery recharging and replacement stations.
Better Place has been testing the systems for several months, including test drives by more than 25 electric cars on Israel's roads for 20 hours a day. The running of the systems is due to be expanded to include the first users.
Better Place also unveiled the robotic first battery replace procedure for the final production models of the Renault Fluence ZE electric cars, which will be marketed worldwide by the end of the year. The replacement takes about five minutes.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 23, 2011
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