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August 2008 Posts
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Let me be the first to say that it is refreshing to hear such a straight forward guy as Rick Woodbury talk about EVs. What a breath of fresh air.
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Interesting interview- Rick certainly brought a lot of insight to the intricacies to the launching of a new vehicle. I wish him much success, but at the price point of $108,000, I think he has a difficult road (no pun intended!) ahead of him. And, I would point out two soon-to-be competitors in the Aptera and the Venture Vehicles EV and PHEV version of the Dutch Carver (my choice for a fun vehicle!), both of which are supposed to be under $30,000 (I did say 'supposed to' didn't I?)
Project Better Place Article.
Project Better Place is an interesting concept- and Mr. Agassi can be very persuasive- I do not have the link, but there is a video of one of his presentations- very dynamic, and I admire his desire to 'electrify' the transportation industry. But, I have several problems with this concept- first, battery cost is not going to change whether it is purchased outright or 'leased'- in fact leasing will just add layers of cost- especially if you then have to build a host of robotic stations to swap out the batteries. Also, it limits the design of cars, perhaps to one battery maker. Also, if the cost of batteries comes down, it sort of negates the need for this type of infrastructure. In the long run, we are better off building an infrastructure that can handle recharging at high voltages.
I can see where his plan might be appropriate for a smaller country- less cost, faster implementation- so the payback for this setup might be attainable- and, in an odd twist, may help in the adoption of EV's in other countries and in the development of a low-cost battery that will allow those other countries to move forward without this type of battery swapping.
Their link is: http://www.betterplace.com/ and there are some videos there, but not the one that I remembered that was so dynamic-but still interesting.
The article I read focused mainly on charging stations that "top-up" the batteries. Very little was said about the battery switching stations. That almost seemed more like an idea than the "plan of record".
One thing that disturbed me, they implied that you needed to buy a special charging station for your garage. It seems better to just plug in with a normal power cord.
I think, at least originnally, that part of the Project Better Place plan was to build the battery swapping stations- but it seems like they have moved a bit away from that, at least in other articles I have seen more recently- but that may also be more for their implementation in the US- and for the smaller countries where they are already in the planning stages with, perphaps they will still go forward with the swapping staitons- but I am sure the plan is still flexible at this point as well!