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Australia: Electric vehicle network plugs in

MELBOURNE will be the fourth place in the world to get an electric vehicle network as the Silicon Valley-based technology company Better Place embarks on the next stage of its $1 billion Australian expansion plans.

The company’s founder, Israeli software whiz and multi-millionaire Shai Agassi, revealed in an interview with The Weekend Australian a Melbourne rollout of charge and battery switch stations for electric cars would “be instrumental in proving to the Australian market how the world looks without gasoline”.

“Getting a network into Melbourne is the next phase,” he said of the group’s Australian plans.

Better Place is rolling out a network of electric car recharge points in homes, workplaces and shopping centres across Canberra and has struck a partnership with ActewAGL for the supply of 100 per cent green power to the network.

It has almost completed electric car networks in Israel and Denmark.
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“Sometimes you have to see it on the ground to believe it. Seeing a Holden Commodore drive over a battery switch station, switching the battery, driving around Canberra and driving visitors around, I think is the strongest proof to some people that are sceptics that this actually can be done,” Mr Agassi said.

He said earlier this year the group was conducting an equity raising in Australia to ensure the local rollout was self- funded.

The Australian rollout is being overseen by IT entrepreneur and former state politician Evan Thornley.


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