Project Better Place, the self-described world leader in providing electric vehicle (EV) services, has taken on a huge project – one of the biggest islands in the world, to be exact. Project Better Place has announced that that it will deploy an EV network in Canberra, Australia – the first Australian city the company has tackled.
The goal of the project, which is aptly named Better Place Australia, will be to challenge the nation to embrace EV transportation. Better Place Australia is a cooperative endeavor between Project Better Place, AGL Energy (which will provide renewable energy to the network), and Macquarie Group (which will arrange financing). The project will require around $1A billion for a 2012 launch.
Why did Project Better Place want to convert Australia to using electric vehicle networks? In part, because its successful conversion of the nation – the largest country Project Better Place has targeted thus far – would underscore the company’s savvy. It is widely assumed that Project Better Place is seeking to involve local (Australian) auto manufacturers (including GM unit Ford and Holden) in the project. In an interview with BusinessGreen.com, Project Better Place founder and chief executive Shai Agassi revealed that he believes the next several years will witness a revolution of the auto industry; Project Better Place seeks to be at the forefront of that revolution. Agassi also described Australia as an ideal location for the development of EV transportation, given its abundant lithium, iron, and phosphate supplies (the fuels of the future, he said).
If Agassi is correct, Project Better Place’s EV endeavors worldwide will be unstoppable. He believes oil is on a terminal downward spiral, and sooner or later EV technology will emerge as the most viable option.