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Better Place To Bring Electric Car Infrastructure to Canada

Better Place announced a partnership with the government of Ontario to help bring an electric car network to the province and create a model for the adoption of electric cars in Canada. Ontario, which is one of North America’s largest car producing regions, is trying to transition its auto manufacturing sector for future growth from electric vehicle production while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“With today’s announcement, Ontario is taking a system-wide approach to retooling its economy for growth and environmental leadership,” said Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO, Better Place. “Our partnership will move Ontario toward a new era in personal transportation – from the current Car 1.0 model centered on the internal combustion engine to a Car 2.0 model of electric cars powered by renewable energy. Today’s announcement is the all-important first step in an expected electric car charging network rollout for Canada, and we look forward to working in partnership with the Ontario government on it.”

Better Place
will establish its Canadian head office in Ontario, and build an electric vehicle demonstration and education centre in Toronto to lay the groundwork to help get electric vehicles running on Ontario roads. The province has committed to conducting a comprehensive study, which will look at ways to speed up the introduction and adoption of electric vehicles. The study is scheduled for release in May 2009. At the same time, Better Place will be developing an electric car charging network plan and timeline.

Under the Better Place model, the company plans and installs a network of charge spots and battery exchange stations, giving drivers the same convenience to “top off” as they enjoy today with gasoline stations. Much like the mobile phone model, Better Place installs and operates the network of charging infrastructure, while leading auto manufacturers produce electric cars for the Better Place network. Better Place sources renewable energy to power the network, creating a zero emission solution from generation to grid to transportation.

Better Place will install charge spots in parking spaces at home, at work, and at retail locations, which enable the network to automatically top off the electric car. For distances longer than what most people drive in a given day, drivers will pull into battery exchange stations to swap a depleted battery for a fresh one in less time than it takes to fill a car with gasoline.