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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Electric Car systems

so with the australian governments recent commitment to a reduction of carbon emissions by only 5% by 2020, it's good/(better then nothing) to see that there are businesses around who can see the potential money to be made in alternative energy infrastructure, as opposed to the money to be made from tollways.
The company Better Place focuses on three areas: The introduction of charging zones for short distance drivers in the metro area; battery switching stations for long journeys; and software aids to automate the service. Australia will serve as a proving ground for their systems in a country with a lower population density then Denmark and Israel which are the other countries so far committed. no doubt Better Place will be looking for a slice of the Federal Governments Green Car Innovation Fund, but hopefully some of the money from the fund will go towards enticing electric vehicle production and research in Australia from companies other then Ford and Holden, because frankly, they don't seem interested.
It would be really nice to see some sort of industry standard system developed for battery exchanges, and charging. As soon as possible really, to speed up takeup and encourage other purchasers besides early adopters. undoubtedly the general public will be wary of engaging in any beta/vhs or HDDVD/bluray battles, where the consumer is always the loser. it would be a remarkable thing for the car manufacturers to come to any agreement, so it's really up to the EU to specify standards that the companies will follow. The 'Better Place' business model must depend on some consistent system, theat manufacturers will be able to utulise, maybe with a licensing fee, so more detail will probably become apparent as they start production.
It looks at the moment like the first mass produced plug -in electric vehicles of the 21st century will be available some time between 2010-2012. BMW is talking of reviving their micro car brand Isetta which produced some incredibly creative design solutions following the second world war (which would undoubtedly not pass crash certifications now). This will enable them to produce micro-city-cars in much the same way the Mini sub brand has let them make front wheel drive small cars. Fiat also plans to revive their Topolino model, as a car below the 500 in size and the Isetta will share a platform with this.

add to these options and the many more which are in the planning stages, the Piaggio MP3 plugin Hybrid. With two front wheels, probably greatly reducing the incidence of highside and lowside cornering accidents, it should appeal to buyers who wouldn't normally consider a scooter or motorbike, as a secondary transport option. available next year, the price will be around that of a small car...

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