American and European Standards Organizations Agree to Strengthen Transatlantic Cooperation on Standards for Electric Vehicles (December 2012).
Cooperation on eMobility standardization was the focus of discussion during a Transatlantic Roundtable organized by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which took place in Brussels on November 28-29. Read the full press release.
European Union: E - Vehicle Policies and Requirements (August 2012)
As a new and emerging market segment, the European e-vehicles1 sector may offer substantial opportunities for U.S. exporters. President Obama has set a goal to have one million electric vehicles on US roads by 2015. The EU has set an equally ambitious goal of getting 6 million e-vehicles on the road by 2020. Studies from the European Commission (EC) and other sources indicate that by 2020 e-vehicles will represent between 1% and 5% of cars sold annually in the European Market. Read the full report.
The European Commission will support a cross-European electromobility initiative, Green eMotion, worth €41.8 million, in partnership with forty two partners from the industries, utilities, electric car manufacturers, municipalities, universities and technology and research institutions. The aim of the initiative is to exchange and develop know-how and experience in selected regions within Europe as well as facilitate the market roll-out of electric vehicles in Europe. The Commission will make €24.2 million available to finance part of the initiative's activities. More . . .
November 2011. U.S. Electric Motorcycle Tax Incentives. The United States is offering a range of tax incentives and rebates for purchases of electric vehicles. Full details are available here: http://www.pluginamerica.org/incentives
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The Portuguese government has been taking measures over the last couple of years to reduce its dependency on foreign energy and promote the local production of energy using clean energy.
Another important step to free Portugal from foreign energy imports is promoting green transport by developing the necessary infrastructure to supply and charge electrical vehicles and adopted any government incentives to encourage the purchase and usage of green vehicles in Portugal.
According to government officials, the sale of electrical vehicles should grow over the next decade, where it is estimated to reach 800.000 vehicles or 10 percent of electrical cars by 2020.
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Notwithstanding the media attention, the usage of electric vehicles in Croatia has not spread beyond a few individual enthusiasts and there are very few businesses involved in related production. Toyota Prius was the first widely recognized and well-accepted hybrid, but its sales in Croatia are very low and Croatia is very far from having a feasible plan to support the introduction of EVs. All of this could change abruptly should Croatia’s first EV succeed in the international market.
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Is Shai Agassi’s dream of an electric car being left in the dust? German firm DBM Energy unveiled its own electric-powered car with a battery technology it claims is a quantum leap forward. Instead of Better Place’s 160 kilometers on a single charge, DBM’s car can travel more than 600 kilometers on a charge that takes all of six minutes. Agassi’s car needs hours. The prototype is based on an Audi A2 and is a joint effort of DBM, Audi, Lekker Energie and the German government. The car’s first road trip took it from Munich to Berlin last week, a 605 kilometer drive, at normal speeds. Japanese engineers have run a Daihatsu electric car 1,003 kilometers on a single charge, but that was at 40 kilometers an hour and the car was fitted with especially large batteries that are not commercially viable. (Daniel Schmil)
There is more to the partnership agreement signed by Better Place and General Electric (NYSE: GE) last week than meets the eye.
The agreement hints at GE Capital's return to the Israeli vehicle leasing market, the moving up of a gear in the Israel Corp. (TASE:ILCO) project to develop a vehicle in China, and a potentially profitable exit for Better Place's investors. An attempt to understand the entire picture of Better Place's electric vehicle project is a bit like putting together a puzzle with hundreds of pieces. It's all the more difficult when the puzzle is spread over several continents and a few islands. Better Place itself does not help those trying to figure out the puzzle. Despite a sophisticated public relations campaign covering the international media, the company tends not to be forthright when face with questions about specific aspects of the business. One often receives the answer, "We are a private company that is not obligated to report."
Better Place's strategic cooperation with GE is a typical example in which more is hidden than revealed.
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28 Sep 10 16:45
French carmaker Renault SA (Euronext: RNO) has begun fields tests in Israel of the electric car for Shai Agassi's Better Place LLC. Marketing of the cars is due to begin next year.
Two prototypes of the Renault Fluence ZE, tailored for Israel, arrived last month, together with a company technical team. The cars have the rapid battery replacement system located in the rear. Until now, only prototypes with the fixed battery or replaceable battery, which Better Place developed itself, have arrived in Israel.
The timing of the test was determined in part to test the cars' handling in Israel's extreme summer heat. The cars are also due to participate in a system-wide test that Better Place will conduct shortly. This test will cover the cars' ignition and battery replacement systems (there are currently two robotic battery replacement systems in the country), the remote management network, and other elements of Better Place's service model.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 22, 2010
22 Aug 10 15:55
Korean-based world leader in manufacturing electric vehicles to create 370 new jobs
COLUMBIA, S.C. – July 1, 2010 – CT&T and 2AM Group officials joined Governor Sanford with officials from Spartanburg County at the State House today to announce the company’s plans to establish an electric vehicle production facility in Spartanburg County. CT&T, a Korean-based world leader in manufacturing electric vehicles, in a joint venture with 2AM Group of Spartanburg, South Carolina, under the name CT&T Southeast LLC, will invest $21 million and create 370 new jobs to support its production over the next five years. Company officials project the Spartanburg County facility to be fully operational by the fourth quarter of this year.
“Upstate South Carolina is an ideal location for our first North American assembly facility,” said CT&T Chief Executive Officer Young Gi Lee. “We are very happy to be located in an area that provides automotive infrastructure, a skilled workforce and proximity to markets that are prime targets for electric vehicle ownership.”
Dubi Ben-Gedalyahu, 26 April 2010
Better Place LLC today officially unveiled in Tokyo a three-month trial of electric cars for the city's taxi fleet. The project includes the recharging and rapid battery replacement stations developed by the company.
Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is a partner in the electric taxi project and is financing it. The trial is one of series of electric car trials undertaken by the ministry. Tokyo's largest cab company, Nihon Kotsu Co. Ltd. is also a partner. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (TSE: 7201) is providing the vehicles, and A123 Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AONE) is providing the batteries.
At the dedication ceremony, Better Place CEO Shai Agassi said that if the project moves from demonstration to implementation, 300 battery replacement stations would be needed to handle Tokyo's 60,000-strong taxi fleet.
A senior Japanese government official said, "The project will set an example for other cities in Japan."
The launch of the system in Tokyo is a prelude to a similar project in Israel in the second half of 2010, which will use Renault SA (Euronext: RNO) electric cars.
TheMarker Correspondent and Staff , Ora Coren, 21 April 2010
Better Place is set to launch its pilot project for the world's first electric taxi fleet on Monday in Tokyo.
The pilot will be launched in Tokyo's central Roppongi Hills, where Better Place is building a battery switch site. Participants are expected to include Nihon Kotsu, Tokyo's largest taxi operator; the directors general of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry; and officials from Better Place, which is run by Shai Agassi and Idan Ofer.
Better Place announced in August that the Japanese government had chosen it to run the pilot, in partnership with Nihon Kotsu. Better Place has stated that Tokyo has about 60,000 taxis, which is far more than New York City, Hong Kong or Paris.
The main challenge will be overcoming the battery's 160-kilometer maximum range. Better Place will install stations for charging and replacing batteries. It says the process is simple - drivers will be able to stay in their cabs while the battery is replaced.
"Better Place is setting up the world's first battery replacement stations for electric cars," said Kiyotaka Fujii, President of Better Place Japan and head of business development for Asia Pacific.
One of the Japanese Environment Ministry's goals is to have at least half of all new cars running on electricity by 2020, in order to help the country meet its carbon emission goals.
While taxis represent a mere 2% of all passenger vehicles on the road in Japan, they are responsible for approximately 20% of all carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles, because of the great number of kilometers they travel, Better Place has stated.
Dubi Ben-Gedalyahu, 15 April 2010
The Fluence ZE is bigger and much heavier than the conventional model, and is electronically limited to 135 km/h.
Today, Renault revealed details and specifications of the electric-powered Renault Fluence ZE, which will make its world debut in Israel, and will be the car offered by Shai Agassi's electric car venture Better Place in the coming years.
Despite lines similar to those of the conventionally-powered Fluence sold in Israel, the new car has several important structural differences.
To carry the battery in the rear, it has been stretched to 4.75 meters in length, almost 13 centimeters longer than the ordinary Fluence. The rear part has been widened to an overall width of 1.81 meters to preserve balanced proportions.
Despite the length, drivers will have to make do with a baggage compartment of only 300 liters, similar to that of the tiny Renault Clio, because of the huge volume of the battery, which weighs 250 kilograms. The car's overall weight is also not dainty: despite the absence of a benzene engine in the front, the Fluence ZE weighs 1,543 kilograms, almost 300 kilograms more than the benzene version.
Renault has not disclosed performance details, but does say that the maximum speed is electronically limited to 135 kilometers an hour.
The passenger cell is as roomy as that of the ordinary Fluence, and the car comes generously accessorized, including a built in LCD screen for a smart navigation system, double electronic climate control, and so on.
The Fluence ZE is designed to support three charging methods. The first uses an ordinary household socket (10 ampere, 16 ampere, or 200 volt), taking 6-8 hours for a full charge. The second method uses a fast industrial charger, which can charge the battery in just 30 minutes.
The third method is Better Place's battery swapping method. It is not yet known whether Better Place will allow the import of electric cars that can be charged via household sockets rather than using its exclusive battery exchange network. Incidentally, the car has charging ports on both sides.
Renault points out that it has undertaken to supply 100,000 of these cars to Better Place up to 2016. Better Place has stated several times that it has orders for tens of thousands of cars like these for fleets in Israel, and that it estimates that sales will be in the tens of thousands of units in the first full year of operation.
Globes' correspondent, 15 February 2010
Shay Agassi's electric car venture Better Place LLC has won a strong spot in Israelis' consciousness. A survey by the Market Watch Institute for "Globes" found that 60% of respondents had heard about the venture.
Beginning in 2011, it will be possible to buy electric cars from Better Place. Car fleet operators will also be able to supply customers with electric cars. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA), Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), and Pelephone Communications Ltd. are some of the companies that have signed cooperation agreements with Better Place.
20.3% of the 494 respondents said that they would definitely be willing to drive an electric car instead of a gasoline car. 26.6% of these respondents have a company car.
57% of respondents who have a company car said that were thinking about switching to an electric car. Not a single respondent who has a company car said that they would definitely not drive an electric car.
Globes' correspondent, 7 February 2010
Shai Agassi's Better Place LLC has signed an agreement with Dor Alon Energy in Israel (1988) Ltd. (TASE:DRAL) to set up battery replacement points for the venture's electric cars at Dor Alon gas stations. The agreement comes two weeks after Better Place raised $350 million from a syndicate led by HSBC Holdings plc (LSE:HSBA; HKSE: 005; NYSE, Paris: HBC) and Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO).
Better Place will initially launch a pilot program at a number of Dor Alon gas stations within the next few weeks. Better Place will bear the cost of the pilot. The battery replacement points will operate alongside the gas stations' regular business.
Better Place CEO Moshe Kaplinksy said, "Dor Alon is the first to realize that in order to provide energy solutions for future vehicles, it must provide suitable solutions for consumers now. Dor Alon's gas stations on intercity roads, including Road 6, will provide the owners of electric cards worry-free travel, even on long trips."
Dor Alon CEO Israel Yaniv said, "Dor Alon is the first energy company that will enable owners of electric car owners of the future to obtain electric refueling services at its gas stations. We consider this agreement with Better Place to be a strategic partnership that will create real value and innovation for the company's activity."
Dor Alon's share fell 4% by midday today to NIS 94.66, giving it a market cap of NIS 1.39 billion.
Dubi Ben-Gedalyahu, 31 January 2010
One clue to the mystery surrounding the $1.25 billion company value achieved by Better Place LLC in last week's investment, lies in China. On Friday, the official Chinese press disclosed initial technical details about the compact jeep under development by Chery-Quantum LLC, a joint venture between Better Place shareholder Israel Corporation (TASE: ILCO) and Chery Automobile Company Co. Ltd.
Israel Corp. invested $225 million in Chery-Quantum for a 50% stake in the joint venture. Last year, Chery-Quantum changed its plans to build premium cars to focus on an electric jeep. According to the Chinese media, the new Chery-Quantum compact jeep, which bears the code T21, was designed at a studio in Milan, and resembles the general design of Chery's Tiggo 5, but is smaller. The T21 will have a replaceable battery, which will probably be made by A123 Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AONE) of the US, in which Israel Corp. is a shareholder. The battery will be located on the T21's double floor.
The Chinese press believes that the T21 is primarily designed to meet European and US standards, and that it will be one of Better Place's strategic models for the second stage of its penetration into new markets in mid-to-late 2012. Industry sources believe that Israel Corp. plans to supply Better Place with electric cars that suit the latter's batter replacement model, which it has demonstrated to potential investors, and which helped boost the company value for the latest investment.
In a separate development, sources inform ''Globes'' that Better Place is presenting the final model of its battery replacement station, which includes a storage and management network. The model has been built and is operating at the company's closed hangar in Petah Tikva.