We know its complicated. So we made this FAQ section.
Our goal is to incorporate the use of clean, renewable sources wherever possible. Most utilities today are working to diversify their energy sources, and electric cars can help play a role in that. In Australia, for example, we have an agreement to use 100% renewable energy.
Electric cars are also much more fuel efficient than gasoline cars. According to the United States Department of Energy, they convert 75% of the energy in their batteries to power their wheels. For internal combustion engines the number is only 20%.
Finally, electric cars eliminate tailpipe emissions, which are responsible for the majority of ground-level air pollution in the world.
We think that this combination of cleaner air, more efficient cars, and increased use of renewable resources is a big step in the right direction.Close
With an unmanaged network of charging stations this would be a big problem. The grid would quickly become overloaded — and we would need more power plants to handle the spikes in demand.
The Better Place Operations Center elegantly solves this problem. All Charge Spots, cars, batteries and Battery Switch Stations in our network are connected to a supercomputer that uses Managed Charging to determine when to charge each battery. Managed Charging balances multiple factors — including driver needs, electricity prices, overall demand on the grid, and capacity at a given location — to ensure that cars have the energy they need and the grid stays in operation.
In addition, Better Place provides a way to capture and distribute renewable energy, which should encourage more renewable energy sources to come online. By combining these new sources of energy with Managed Charging, we should be able to avoid building more fossil fuel power plants to support our transportation needs.Close
One big problem with many renewable energy sources is that they generate electricity intermittently and unpredictably. You never know whether you’ll get a sunny or windy day —and there is currently no way to store the energy created from these sources (all of the energy they generate is sent to the grid for immediate use).
Better Place provides a way to put this green energy to good use. With our Managed Charging network we will have thousands (and eventually millions) of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars and Battery Switch Stations. This allows us to capture renewable energy whenever it is produced. And because cars and their batteries are only active a few hours a day (they are parked most of the time), we have a wide window in which to charge them.
For example, let’s say that there are high winds in Denmark at 2 a.m. one night. At that time, there is typically little demand for energy. At Better Place we can take that wind energy and use it to charge the electric cars plugged into our system and the batteries in our Battery Switch Stations. This ever-ready demand will encourage more renewable energy sources to come on line.Close
Lithium-ion batteries are 95% recyclable, and we plan on recycling every one of them.Close
In addition, our batteries have a three-phase lifecycle that maximizes their utility. In the first phase they power cars. During this time, they can be recharged up to 2,000 times, which translates to about 300,000 kilometers driven on average. In the second phase, we use them for lower distance drivers. After that, we pack them together so that they become a mega-battery. These mega-batteries are capable of storing large amounts of energy created by solar and wind farms, as well as other renewable resources. Once the batteries are no longer useful for that purpose, we recycle the lithium they contain and send it off to be turned into new batteries.
9857 ViewsThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States recently conducted stringent tests on electric vehicles and determined that they are just as safe as gasoline vehicles. And all cars, regardless of their power source, are required to comply with the safety requirements of the country in which they operate. The Renault Fluence Z.E., the first car on our network, has received an impressive 4 stars in Euro NCAP safety tests. Close
Are electric vehicles fun to drive?
Gas stations are everywhere, and there won’t be as many Battery Switch Stations. Won’t that be inconvenient?
What happens when my battery starts running low?
Will I be billed by my utility for the electricity I use to charge at home?