Do you want to live in a “Better Place”?

Road side EV charging meters

Well that’s what Shai Agassi wants, so he decided to create a company called Better Place to, as they say,

accelerate the transition to sustainable transport by globally providing electric vehicle (EV) services

Better Place is one of the few, if not the only, company that is working on the challenge of providing the total infrastructure to support electric vehicles.

Surely, I hear you ask, what could we need other than charging points?

Let’s imagine a scenario where at 7 p.m. we all arrive home from work, we park our EV cars in our garages or on the side of the road and then….plug them in! Sounds cool for us, but this is in fact a nightmare for today’s electricity generation & distribution companies. For example, the Football World Cup, viewed by millions at home, has hundreds of thousands of fans all rushing into the kitchen at half-time to turn the kettle on…

With EVs there’s potentially going to be a much higher demand when they plug in. But at the same time not all the EVs will be fully discharged, so some clever energy management could help to balance electricity demands & availability, by discharging some EVs to re-charge others. It’s almost like managing a power station in it’s own right – perhaps a scary thought for today’s Power Gen companies…?

Denmark,on the other hand, is turning this challenge to their advantage. Twenty percent of their electricity is generated by wind turbines. But turbines are generally most active at night when winds are most stable (turbines will automatically shutdown when winds are gusty), but electricity demand is low at night so batteries are needed to store the energy produced, so why not put wheels on the batteries…

That’s not all, there are Quickdrop stations to change your discharged battery if you haven’t time to wait for a charge; there’s clever navigation software combined with the vehicle’s charge level to find the best solution for your journey. . . I could go on, have a look instead at the video, albeit a little too “perfect and shiny white teeth” it does show well the general idea.  Oh – and check out the EV’s registration plates 🙂

The great news that DS is already working with Better Place, providing them with the software for battery and mechanical design and for exchanging data with Renault.

I hope that DS can work on lots more projects with this innovative company. Stay tuned…

Sustainably yours,

Ps. check out my previous posts

Jonathan Dutton

Jonathan Dutton

Jonathan Dutton is Marketing Director, Transportation & Mobility Industry at Dassault Systèmes