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BetterPlace - Electric Car Battery Swap Stations

"Solving the Problem of the Egg"

Battery powered cars sound like a great idea when you think about them for a while. Drive to work in your clean, quiet, efficient electric car. Drive it home. Plug it in, recharge and repeat.

Think a bit more and you will discover a fundamental problem.  Suppose Friday night you need to drive down to L.A. to see your Aunt Tootsie. You want to take your electirc car but you can't make it to Tootsie and back on a single charge. Tootsie hasn't driven in 20 years so she doesn't have a charging station. So you take your old gas guzzling SUV (from your pre-green days) and Tootise scolds you for not being green! (She is neighbors with Ed Begley). Oops. If Tootsie was even further, you wouldn't even have been able to make to Tootsie on a charge. Bummer. Plus, charging a battery is an overnight activity. Maybe electric cars aren't the panacea to our oil woes?

Enter BeterPlace....they have an idea.

Why it's Keen:

BetterPlace has a keen solution in store. When the propane tank for my grill is empy,  I drive to the drug store and trade in my empty propane tank for a full one. Think the same thing for electric cars, battery swap stations.
Running into a swap station and change your battery for a fully charged battery in 80 seconds!

Why it's Green:

In California, 40% of greenhouse gases are emitted from gas powered vehicles. For the city of San Francisco, it is 54%! By focusing on the Infrastructure, BetterPlace is tackling the big problem. If you like chicken, somebody better come up with some eggs. BetterPlace is solving the problem of the egg. Not only are they enabling electric cars, they are doing it with green batteries that can be recharged with solar panels. This is a clean solution.

Reality Check:

BetterPlace is no early stage start-up looking for a a couple of million dollars to get off the ground. They raised 200 million back in 2007 and kicked off their initiative in Israel and Denmark. Now California is on the bandwagon and Arnold and Gavin announce a comprehensive strategy for Califronia of which the BetterPlace infrastructure is a key component. BetterPlace plans to start rolling out the infrastructure in California next year. At KeenForGreen, we are going to keep a close eye on BetterPlace. This could be a big win.