Besides being a place where you can manufacture things cheap, no matter what the processes’ cabon dioxide emissions are, China is one of the most advanced countries when it comes to electric cars and electrification, in general. Project Better Place, an Israel-based company aiming at developing more efficient charging infrastructures has just signed an agreement with one of the largest Chinese utilities.
The Chinese part is represented by China Southern Power Grid Co., the world’s eighth largest utility. Better Place, founded by Shai Aggasi, sees the immediate future of electric car charging as one of battery swapping in under 2 minutes. Basically, the EV users (and there are a lot of them in China at the moment) pull over at a Better Place charging station, place their car over a platform and everything else is done automatically. Of course, you won’t own your car’s battery, but rather pay a monthly sum for using it and for the electricity.
CSG chairman, Zhao Jianguo, firmly believes that the “battery-switch model may become mainstream in China.” Shai Aggasi, on the other hand said: “Our collaboration with China Southern and the support of the Guangzhou government open the door to new opportunities for switchable-battery electric cars made by Chinese manufacturers for the domestic and export markets.”
Unlike those other countries where Better Place has already found a market, China may be the jackpot, as their electric cars will probably be the cheapest of all. No wonder the two companies plan on building more than 2,300 battery swapping stations by 2015.