TORONTO, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - Better Place, the world's leading mobility
operator, today announced a partnership with the government of Ontario to help
bring an electric car network to the province and create a model for the
adoption of electric cars in Canada. Ontario, which is one of North America's
largest car producing regions, seeks to transition its auto manufacturing
sector for future growth from electric vehicle production while reducing
greenhouse gas emissions.
"With today's announcement, Ontario is taking a system-wide approach to
retooling its economy for growth and environmental leadership," said Shai
Agassi, Founder and CEO, Better Place. "Our partnership will move Ontario
toward a new era in personal transportation - from the current Car 1.0 model
centered on the internal combustion engine to a Car 2.0 model of electric cars
powered by renewable energy. Today's announcement is the all-important first
step in an expected electric car charging network rollout for Canada, and we
look forward to working in partnership with the Ontario government on it."
In conjunction with today's news, the company appointed Lawrence Seeff as
Head of Americas Business Development. Mr. Seeff brings more than 20 years of
global real estate and financial experience from leading and growing a
privately-held, multi-billion-dollar firm.
Better Place will establish its Canadian head office in Ontario, and
build an electric vehicle demonstration and education centre in Toronto to lay
the groundwork to help get electric vehicles running on Ontario roads.
The province has committed to conducting a comprehensive study, which
will look at ways to speed up the introduction and adoption of electric
vehicles. The study is scheduled for release in May 2009. At the same time,
Better Place will be developing an electric car charging network plan and
This announcement maintains the province's traditional strength in
automotive production while incorporating the forward thinking technology of
battery operated vehicles. Embracing this technology in its early stages will
provide the province with the stimulus needed for enhanced job creation and
Under the Better Place model, the company plans and installs a network of
charge spots and battery exchange stations, giving drivers the same
convenience to "top off' as they enjoy today with gasoline stations. Much like
the mobile phone model, Better Place installs and operates the network of
charging infrastructure, while leading auto manufacturers produce electric
cars for the Better Place network. Better Place sources renewable energy to
power the network, creating a zero emission solution from generation to grid
For consumers, it means they're able to subscribe to a sustainable
transportation service. Better Place provides the batteries to make owning an
electric car affordable and convenient. Better Place will install charge spots
in parking spaces at home, at work, and at retail locations, which enable the
network to automatically top off the electric car.
For distances longer than what most people drive in a given day, drivers
will pull into battery exchange stations to swap a depleted battery for a
fresh one in less time than it takes to fill a car with gasoline.
Better Place is partnering with Bullfrog Power, Canada's only retailer of
100 percent green electricity, and Macquarie Group, a global provider of
banking, financial, advisory, investment and funds management services, and is
continuing to build other relationships both locally and around the world. In
Ontario, Bullfrog Power will provide all of the renewable energy needed to
power the Better Place network.
"Better Place is leading a bold and compelling movement, and we are
excited to provide 100% clean, renewable electricity for its network and cars
powered by it," said Tom Heintzman, President, Bullfrog Power. "For truly
emissions-free transportation, it is crucial that we not simply transfer the
problem from the tailpipe to the generator. Better Place is taking a firm
stance by committing to fueling electric vehicles with renewable power."
Macquarie will partner with Better Place as financial advisor on
developing a network rollout plan and investment timeline for Ontario. Michael
Bernstein, Senior Managing Director of Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd.,
said, "The Better Place business model is an exciting opportunity for the
domestic auto industry, the clean energy industry and the public sector to
assist in the development of a sustainable transportation market in Canada.
Macquarie is pleased to deploy its expertise in assisting Better Place and
Ontario to develop a new electric vehicle network in Ontario."
The Better Place network of electric car charging infrastructure is built
on open standards. One goal of the growing Better Place ecosystem, which
includes The Renault-Nissan Alliance, is giving consumers a wide range of
choices when it comes to vehicle make and model. The Japanese Ministry of the
Environment also has invited Better Place and major Japanese carmakers to
participate in a major electric car project there.
About Better Place:
Better Place builds electric-vehicle networks powered by renewable energy
to give consumers an affordable, sustainable alternative for personal
mobility. Launched in 2007 with US$200 million of venture capital funding, the
company is working with partners to build networks in Israel, Denmark,
Australia, California and Hawaii. Better Place will activate networks on a
country-by-country basis with initial deployments beginning in 2010.
For further information:
For further information: Media Contacts: Monta Johnson, Hill & Knowlton,
Office: (905) 844-5615, Mobile: (416) 277-6049,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Julie Mullins, Better Place, Mobile: (650)
387-0486, Office: (650) 845-2869, email@example.com