How far away is the electric car?

Solar Choice customers all have an interest in how solar and other renewable energy installations can also make sound financial sense. We know you’ll be interested then to learn of plans that a venture called “Better Place Australia” have to change the world by creating a network which enables the use of zero-emission cars.

Better Place Australia is not interested in making cars, instead it wants to create a vast network of plug-in-points that associated customers can access to charge their cars, including drawing on solar energy reserves. All recharge points will be using energy from renewable power plants, including solar power.

These plug-in-points look similar to parking meters, and will be located in car parks, streets, or service stations. This system also has improved battery range and recharge time. With a battery range of 160 kilometers, and a full recharge time of less than a minute, this obliterates the past criticism of electric cars.

The issue with this innovative idea is the cost involved to bring Better Place to life. To create the vast network of recharge stations, this will cost over $1 billion. Yet CEO Evan Thornley is committed to raising money despite the tough economic climate, and has already secured commitments from AGL energy and Macquarie Group Ltd. Thornely estimates that the first Better Place car to operate will be on Australian roads in 2012 and excepts we’ll all be driving them by 2020.

The truly renovative aspect of Better Place’s plan is its potential to open a new, lucrative market for clean energy produces and stimulate growth of green power. Previously there has been little incentive to develop renewable power plants, which include, solar, wind and geothermal power. This is partly due to the inability to store renewable energy. With electric cars being constantly recharged, excess solar/wind power can be pumped into Better Place batteries.

So solar power may be even powering cars in the future. By using Photovoltaics, or PV, sunlight can be converted into electrical power, which can then be used to recharge our cars. Thus creating a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable world.

Natalie Noakes
Solar Broker
Solar Choice Pty Ltd

© 2009 Solar Choice Pty Ltd


  1. Hi Natalie, do you know whether there have been any developments in the idea of solar panels being incorporated into the electric car?

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