Hawaii Endorses Better Place for Electric Cars

 

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Better Place and Hawaii have joined forces. This week the State of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Electric Company endorsed a plan to build a new renewable transportation system based on electric vehicles with swappable batteries and a “smart” battery recharging network.

The Better Place plan solves the current problem with electric cars, which is slow battery recharging as well as availability. The solution is to use existing electric car technologies together with an internet-connected web of recharging stations (set up in the thousands).





Drivers of the recharging network subscribe to the service, paying for access and mileage:

the network idea will be appropriate first for “island” economies that typically have significantly higher energy costs, and then will become more cost-competitive as it is scaled up.” The New York Times reports, “We always knew Hawaii would be the perfect model, the typical driving plan is low and leisurely, and people are smiling.” Better Place founder Shai Agassi, said in a phone interview.

“Hawaii is a relatively small market with high energy costs. The state has about 1.2 million cars and replaces 70,000 to 120,000 vehicles annually. Drivers on the islands also rarely make trips of more than 100 miles, meaning there will be less need for his proposed battery recharging stations. Part of Mr. Agassi’s model depends on quick-change service stations to swap batteries for drivers who need to use their cars before they have completely recharged their batteries.”

The plan is to use renewable energy sources like solar and wind to provide energy for a new class of vehicles.

Source.

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Above Image is in the public domain.





About the Author

Lucy Chi loves good green design, ethical fashion, environmental art and education, renewables, holistic healing and more. She has been dedicating her energies toward finding and drawing attention to all the ways in which products, companies, and industries are moving toward creating a more sustainable world on the global scale, as well as the way individuals are moving toward living sustainably, and healing at the personal level. Sustainability studies: PresidioMBA.org & B.S. Cornell University, College of Human Ecology, Dept. of Textiles and Fiber Science. Contact: lucillechi (at) gmail.com
  • Sherry

    Jeff Wilson talked about this in his recently released book The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence NOW. I found it facinating but thought it a bit futuristic. It is exciting to see the very plans he talked about in his book begining to unfold NOW. Go Hawaii, Go Better Place, show the rest of the world how to do it…and go Jeff Wilson and your new book The Manhattan Project of 2009

  • Sherry

    Jeff Wilson talked about this in his recently released book The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence NOW. I found it facinating but thought it a bit futuristic. It is exciting to see the very plans he talked about in his book begining to unfold NOW. Go Hawaii, Go Better Place, show the rest of the world how to do it…and go Jeff Wilson and your new book The Manhattan Project of 2009

  • mel

    This concept has been discussed in several magazine articles, and IS fascinating, if futuristic. I was impressed because he said he might give the car away, or make it VERY cheap, and, like cell phones rent the batteries. Starting in Hawaii makes good sense too, as it may allow them to sell enough cars to test the concept and work the bugs out while building up some cash reserves, along with some economies of scale. hawaii is taking a leadership position in a LOT of Green areas- solar power, recycled water, rain barrels, etc.

  • mel

    This concept has been discussed in several magazine articles, and IS fascinating, if futuristic. I was impressed because he said he might give the car away, or make it VERY cheap, and, like cell phones rent the batteries. Starting in Hawaii makes good sense too, as it may allow them to sell enough cars to test the concept and work the bugs out while building up some cash reserves, along with some economies of scale. hawaii is taking a leadership position in a LOT of Green areas- solar power, recycled water, rain barrels, etc.

  • ChuckL

    The question is “Who owns the batteries?”

    If it is the power company and all the vehicle owner has to do is stop and change the batteries for a nominal charge, say power plus a small change out fee, It is a good idea. If, and only if, there are always batteries available.

  • ChuckL

    The question is “Who owns the batteries?”

    If it is the power company and all the vehicle owner has to do is stop and change the batteries for a nominal charge, say power plus a small change out fee, It is a good idea. If, and only if, there are always batteries available.

  • Doug

    ChuckL,

    I have read the info on Better Place’s website and they own the batteries other than the ones that initially come with the EV. What you suggested is exactly what Shai Aggassi wants to run. Consumers pay a small monthly fee and then get to use the stations.

  • Doug

    ChuckL,

    I have read the info on Better Place’s website and they own the batteries other than the ones that initially come with the EV. What you suggested is exactly what Shai Aggassi wants to run. Consumers pay a small monthly fee and then get to use the stations.

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