Australia inicia la electrificación del transporte con Better Place

 Australia contará con Better Place, el grupo financiero Macquarie Capital y la compañía eléctricaca AGL Energy, para suministrar la electricidad necesaria proveniente de energías renovables para el parque previsto de vehículos eléctricos. AGL Energy genera energía eólica (257 MW en 2008), y asegura la sostenibilidad de la electricidad necesaria para los automóviles eléctricos.

Las ciudades de Sydney, Melbourne y Brisbane dispondrán de una red de 200.000 a 250.000 puntos de recarga operativos a partir de 2012. Estas estaciones de servicio eléctricas se situarán en aparcamientos, en lugares de trabajo, cerca de poblaciones y en centros comerciales. Además, en cada una de las tres ciudades se instalarán 150 estaciones de servicio urbanas de recarga en las que los automovilistas tendrán la posibilidad de cambiar la batería agotada de sus vehículos por otra cargada con el fin de hacerlo rápidamente.

Según el empresario fundador de Better Place Shai Agassi, un vehículo 100% eléctrico, que se puede recargar 1.500 veces, tendrá un coste de 7 céntimos de dólar (5,6 céntimos de euro) por milla (1,6 Km). Estas cifras son un tercio menos de gasto comparándolas con el consumo de un vehículo a gasolina en Europa.

Better Place to deploy Australian mass electric vehicle network
Monday 6th April 2009 | 11:07 AM

Israeli software entrepreneur Shai Agassi is moving ahead with plans to build a $1 billion electric car network in Australia.

The operator of the network, Better Place, has recently appointed Evan Thornley, a successful technology entrepreneur and former member of the Victorian Parliament, as chief executive officer in Australia.

Mr Thornley will oversee the development of the Better Place electric vehicle network in Australia, helping enable car manufacturers to switch to electric vehicle production.

"We have a massive, transformative solution for oil independence, and I am excited that Evan will be leading our efforts in Australia," said Mr Agassi, founder and CEO, Better Place. "Evan’s deep technology expertise, capital raising experience and previous entrepreneurial success will be critical as we roll out the supporting infrastructure and make sustainable transportation a reality for one of the world’s largest nations."

In October 2008, Better Place announced a Memorandum of Understanding to supply 100% green energy from AGL Energy and appointed Financial Adviser Macquarie Capital Group to raise $1 billion. In so doing, it began its plan to deploy the electric vehicle service network across Australia.

Better Place will build and operate a national infrastructure platform which will provide consumers with a viable and compelling alternative to conventional fuel-based vehicles. In essence, this opportunity represents a similar business model to that used by mobile phone operators. Just as a wireless operator deploys a network of cell towers to provide a given service area with mobile phone coverage and then charges its customers a subscription fee, Better Place will deploy a network of battery charge spots and battery swap stations to provide the consumer with the ability to keep cars charged and on the road.

Better Place will also work with electric utilities to ensure adequate renewable electricity generation capacity comes on line sufficient to offset all cars supported by the Better Place network.

Long-term Benefits

The large-scale adoption of electric vehicles through the Better Place model will confer a range of environmental, economic end energy security benefits for Australia.

For example, all electricity used by Better Place will be purchased from renewable sources and will allow utility companies to expand their renewable energy portfolios. Also, an effective distribution method for recharging and changing batteries, such as a similar network as petrol stations, will make it more effective to own and drive an electric vehicle and make for more effective usage of the energy grid.

From a vehicle production perspective, the potential local production of EV’s in Australia will boost the Australian automotive industry and offer significant export potential to other Better Place operators throughout the region

Also, it is expected that the production of renewable electricity will reduce the cost of oil imports, generate profits which will remain in Australia and keep the otherwise exported dollars in the local economy as well as some opportunities for the creation of significant research and development sector for electric vehicles, renewable energy and battery technology.

Australia will be seen as taking the leadership position in the adoption of real and fundamental changes that directly benefit the environment and be an example of what is possible for other countries both in the region and further abroad.

It is anticipated that the Better Place electric vehicle infrastructure will be initially deployed in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and, possibly, Canberra.