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I’ve got a long post coming about exactly what it’s like to have your Better Place electric car’s battery swapped while you sit in it, but while the YouTube video uploads, here’s an article from JPost with a couple of bits I want to highlight.
“From our perspective, this is inevitable,” Agassi said. “Any gas-fuelled vehicle exiting a Renault, Fiat or General Motors production plant today… will use an average 4,000 euros [NIS 20,000] per year of gasoline over the next 20 years, or 80,000 euros [NIS 400,000] in total, and that is without taking into account erratic behavior from Iran or the Chinese.”
In the same period, Better Place customers will spend around one-quarter of that amount operating their car, he added, explaining that because the company takes full responsibility for the battery, fluctuations in the price of electricity will not change the cost to consumers.
Agassi is spot on here. He’s not talking about carbon or any other nonsense. For sure there is still energy being used to drive around and, for the most part, it’s going to come from burning things, but for the end user it is going to be much cheaper to use centrally generated and paid for electricity, than local generation of kinetic energy from liquid fuels.
Agassi rejected criticism that the launch was behind schedule, saying the delays could be summed up in a few words: “Form 4 – building permit applications.” Better Place initially promised the electric vehicles would hit the roads in 2011, but Agassi admitted last week that “we didn’t know anything four years ago.”
So for those who think this has received a red-carpet government mandated launch, Agassi is basically saying that the rate limiting step has been the planning permissions for building their battery switch stations. These have generally been built alongside existing petrol stations where they fit nicely. They’re cleaner, don’t produce any pollution and look nice, yet the usual fear of anything new has slowed down the process of getting them finished.