Better Place

Welcome to Brian of London’s Israellycool Better Place page. If you’d like me to write for your publication or blog on Better Place, please get in touch. I’m open to cross-posting content as well.

Most recent post:

Revisiting The Better Place Past


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After almost 8,000 km or 5,000 miles this is my summary of the expirience of driving a Better Place electric car in Israel:

It’s time for electric car drivers to stop being defensive: especially in Israel, with a fully operational network of battery switch stations. 

My Electric Car is BETTER than any liquid burning car. Period. It’s not the same, it’s not as good, it’s BETTER. 

It drives BETTER, it smells BETTER, the service that comes with it is MUCH BETTER. The price is even BETTER but even if the price was the same as driving a burning car, it would be worth it.

This car is my first choice: this car is just BETTER!

If you are interested in trying out a Better Place car for yourself, please call Tal at Better Place on 073 790 3772 and feel free to mention Israellycool or Brian of London.

For all my posts to date on Better Place, click here.

For my take on the October 2nd 2012 announcement that Shai Agassi, the founder  of Better Place, would step down from the CEO rôle, look here.

How it all began

The story so far: in January I saw a tweetup (meeting of people on twitter) being organised for the Better Place visitor centre which is only a 10 minute drive from my home. That short visit completely reversed my opinion on electric vehicles.

Live information

This page accompanying my “100 days” article in Green Car Reports contains live graphs showing a distribution of how many km I drive per day. The vast majority of days I drive less than 100km with a few days over that. I also have two live graphs one showing how many km per day I’m averaging. The other shows how many km I travel on average between battery switches. It turns out that this distance is similar to how far you can travel in a regular gas car between fill ups. This is because my car has it’s “tank” topped up every night at home: what a luxury!

Road Trips

I’ve written about a few road trips like a 120 km trip to Beit Shemesh, a 200 km round trip with the family and a 300 km round trip to my company’s office in the north. That last story includes a discussion comparing the range of the Tesla Model S and the subscription I pay for battery switching and electricity for four years. Turns out that moving from the base Model S to the medium one costs roughly the same as driving my car for four years.

Almost three months on from receiving the car, I’ve written how the electric nature of the car just blends into the background.

On 19th August, Shai Agassi drove his car on a complete lap of Israel covering 1,150 km or 715 miles in a day and travelling from the centre, to the far north, then Eilat in the far south and back home. All in a day.

I’ve also taken the car on a trip to the parts of Jerusalem liberated by Israel in 1967 and on the return via the edge of Ramallah.

What does a switch look like?

Better Place in Israel makes owning an electric car completely comparable with owning a petrol car because of one feature that exists nowhere else in the world: rapid battery switch stations. Drive in with a depleted battery, drive out with a full one in under 5 minutes. The fastest way to re-charge other electric cars anywhere in the world is around 30 minutes to add 80%. I took a trip through one of these switch stations while it was being tested and before opening to the public and filmed it in real time.

Switching: so easy even a woman can do it!* Driving the car through a switch is pretty easy: so easy I even handed over the keys to Michelle from Jewlicious on our way home from Jerusalem and she took the car through the switch (only the second time she’d even seen a switching station).

*Note: if you don’t know my style of humour please understand this statement is dripping with sarcasm and not to be taken seriously!

Range Anxiety

Many people think the biggest problem in using an electric car is the limited range. The term Range Anxiety is the name given to this phenomenon. I’ve written about it: Electric Vehicle Range Anxiety Solved and I Laugh In The Face Of Electric Vehicle Range Anxiety!

This is a long chatty piece about travelling back and forth to Jerusalem three days running. Again this journey is beyond the notional range of the car but by using a public charge spot in Jerusalem, the trip is easy. To The Top Of The Hill And Down Again x3

Grid aspects of Better Place

I’ve written a few pieces discussing the benefits to the electric grid of adding large numbers of electric cars if these are predominantly charged over night: Battery Switching Or Pumping Electrons? and this piece Burying the Lead.

About the Renault Fluence ZE

Specifically about the Renault Fluence ZE that Better Place offers in Israel I wrote how my youngest child adapted to the new noises from this very quiet car. Green Car Reports also published a report on my first week with the car. There are some more little nuggets of information in this post.

Regulatory Issues in Israel on Electric Vehicles

Israel has taken some unusual steps to protect its overly fragile electricity grid. I’ve discussed these at length in this post: The Only Monopoly Is The One Oil Has Over Transport Now.

External Publications

PJMedia: Is Israel Making the Electric Car Work?

Jewish Press: Is It A Car? Is It A Network? No — It’s Both

NER: Have You Joined Conservatives For OPEC?

Green Car Reports: Early Better Place Customer On Israel Electric-Car Experience 

Green Car Reports: Does Better Place Have A Monopoly On Electric Cars In Israel?

Green Car Reports: Fast Charging Vs Battery Switching: Better Place Customer Compares

Green Car Reports: Better Place Electric Renault Fluence ZE In Israel: 1st Week

Green Car Reports: What’s The Real Cost of a Better Place Electric Car in Israel?

Green Car Reports: One Way Better Place Wins in Israel: Actual Customer Service

Green Car Reports: 100 Days With A Better Place Electric Car: Likes & Dislikes

Times of Israel: I do not drive an electric car to reduce my “carbon footprint”

Times of Israel: Another everyday story about using an electric car

All Posts about Better Place:

Better Place Earth Day News

10 million electric km driven in Israel!Read More »

She's The Green Deputy Mayor

Stage for Green Pilgrim eventMaking Jerusalem an even better place to visit.Read More »

Do Flags Make Any Difference To Fuel Economy?

Myth Busted!Read More »

Do Petrol Heads Dream Of Electric Cars?

All you have to do is take out the exploding bit at the front and the entire nature of the car changes to something so refined it costs thousands more to match.Read More »

How Charged Up Is Your Battery?

Better Place plugged in 1In which I give a technical explanation of the battery reporting in Better Place's Renault Fluence ZE electric car.Read More »

We've Got a Full Battery Let's Go To Eilat

Don't drone me! Live tracking by satellite as I attempt the amazing feat of driving 350km to Eilat in a battery powered car!Read More »

I Don't Like Government Policy

Despite professing that they want to move Israel off Oil, they're making completely stupid movesRead More »

Why I'm Giving Up On My Electric Car

The love affair with @btrplc Better Place is over. I want a real car again!Read More »

A Brief Electric Vehicle Geek Out

The full gory details of Better Place's Oscar range estimation system and display of kWh as well as battery charge percentageRead More »

Just Another Day Without Oil

A half dozen little trips and a drive to Jerusalem and back. Easy.Read More »

New York Times. Still Lying.

I'm sorry sir, you couldn't find this?Read More »

The Results Are In: The New York Times Lied

Today it's electric cars, tomorrow it will be Israel and after that anything else they likeRead More »

Tesla Vs New York Times And Modern Journalistic Ethics

The days of dispassionate journalism have long since fadedRead More »

Tesla Supercharger Super Sucks

I’d like to buy your car, it looks nice, it drives way nicer than the Mercedes I was considering and my kids will be happy because the polar bears will be saved.Read More »

One Day Better Place Happening!

Better Place RFID tag and key fobBe there or be square! Read More »

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