Print 45 comment(s) - last by grath.. on Oct 30 at 9:00 PM

Cities would get up to 250,000 charging stations each

Electric cars have lots of potential, but currently they have many drawbacks as well. A couple of the biggest drawbacks for electric cars are limited driving range and the fact that most cities aren't set up with easy access to charging stations.

An American firm is looking to make charging electric vehicles easier in Australia. The firm is called Better Place and has unveiled plans that would place an electrical charging network costing $667 million in major cities in Australia. Working with Better Place to make the charging network a reality is Australian power company AGL and finance group Macquarie Capital.

The agreement with have the finance group raising the money to build the charge network and placing the network in the country's largest cities like Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. AGL says that the electricity for the system would be generated by renewable means.

Each of the three cities would have a network of between 200,000 and 250,000 charging stations by 2012. Drivers of electric vehicles would pay similarly to a cellular calling plan where the cost is based on the amount of power used.

Better Place CEO Shai Agassi said in a statement, "We call it a ubiquitous charging network across the cities. We are investing in Australia's economy and adding jobs while helping the country take a generational leap forward toward oil independence."

Once the charge system is in place commuters would have less reason not to buy electric cars and the Australian government might offer tax incentives or free power for early adopters of the charge network.

Several carmakers that sell vehicles in Australia are bringing electric vehicles to market including GM and Renault-Nissan. Agassi is encouraging Australian carmakers to develop their own electric vehicles. The network will also have 150 switch stations in each city where drivers of electric cars can pull through a car wash like building and exchange depleted battery packs for fresh ones.

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By tjr508 on 10/24/2008 12:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
Americans have $1.50 gas to look forward to for a couple years now by the way the market is looking. Who needs a battery when a you got a V8?

By AntiM on 10/24/2008 12:17:10 PM , Rating: 3
Americans have $1.50 gas to look forward to for a couple years now by the way the market is looking. Who needs a battery when a you got a V8?

I wouldn't bet on that. OPEC is already cutting production. Once the US economy picks back up, gas will be back to $4.00 or more. Plus, the Middle East is so volatile, there's no telling what might happen from one day to the next.
As for electric cars, I think investing in a hydrogen infrastructure would be a much better idea.

By tjr508 on 10/24/2008 12:31:43 PM , Rating: 1
If you would have bet on that on Oct 3rd with $1000, your bet would now be worth $150,000 on the options market. Just saying...

By themengsk176 on 10/24/2008 12:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
The Middle East wouldn't be so volatile if we (the US) didn't keep stirring crap up over there.

Our aggravating Iran alone plays a role in keeping the price of oil up.

We all grew up in the 90's, we all knew the era of cheap gas was going to end, and all those idiots with huge SUV's would have egg on their faces. Maybe we needed this to happen so we would take alternative energies seriously.

By Spuke on 10/24/2008 1:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe we needed this to happen so we would take alternative energies seriously.
Yes, because not having a job or having your retirement dry up right before retirement is SOOOOO much less important.

By themengsk176 on 10/24/2008 1:39:03 PM , Rating: 2
At least the baby boomer (and older) generation might get to retire.

I'll have to work till I'm 75

By Ringold on 10/24/2008 9:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
We all grew up in the 90's,

There's why your first statement about the Middle East is wrong. If the US left, there'd still be Israel. If they eradicated Israel, history going back to the very start of our species suggests they'd then turn on each other using whatever pretense is most convenient for them. The area is volatile now with our influence in the region, it was volatile when the European powers the major influence, it was volatile before that, and it'll be volatile now.

I heard someone say the Middle East is where Europe was roughly before Martin Luther tacked his 95 theses on the door of a church. That has not yet happened in Islam. Even after it does, they may have decades of violent internal strife. European tranquility, you'll note, is extremely recent in terms of history.

Seriously, there is history before 1990. I know it's trendy to think everything is our fault and it'd all be better if we shrank in to our shell like a cowardly turtle, but it just aint so.

By barclay on 10/26/2008 1:37:31 PM , Rating: 2
> "Seriously, there is history before 1990. I know it's trendy to think everything is our fault"

In the immortal words of Billy Joel, "we didn't start the fire."

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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