Better Place’s battery exchange network will be launched soon in Denmark; but at a much slower pace than originally planned, according to an article in the Danish Ingenoren transport website, and Martin Thomson, host of the electric car news web blog Easyecar.com. According to the Ingenoren site, the cost of the cars in Denmark will run around Kronen 205,000 ($38,500) and a monthly battery rental fee of DK 589 ($ 110). These prices are really overly extravagant as compared to other types of electric cars, especially high performance sport models like the ones made by Tesla Motors.
The logistical factors surrounding the Better Place battery exchange infrastructure, which so far has only been tested seriously in Japan, has resulted in only about 10 or 11 battery exchange stations slated to be opened in Denmark, most likely in the capital, Copenhagen. The situation is a bit more optimistic there, however as Thomson adds that he was informed by the Better Place Sales Manager for Denmark that the actual number of exchange stations may be more, and new ones will be opened as needed. Thomson has himself tested one of the Better Place Renault Fluence ZE models, as well as other types of electric and hybrid models. He has also tested cars running on various types of hydrogen fuel mixes.
If the Denmark Better Place battery exchange network, though small, will have even marginal success, then other Scandinavian countries, as well as others like Germany and Holland (where Better Place batter exchange networks are also planned), will surely follow suit. But Better Place isn’t the only electric car “player” in the country that hosted the Copenhagen Conference on Global Warming and Climate Changes (COP 15 Conference) last December, and whose outcome failed to result in any strong international resolutions regarding efforts to reduce the effects of global warming.
It will be interesting to see if Better Place can coordinate its electric car battery exchange infrastructure “launch” in Denmark with those in Israel and other countries to occur at more or less the same time frame, i.e. the Spring or Summer of 2011. The big question is whether a car with a cruising range of only 130 – 160 km, making it dependent on recharging or exchanging its lithium ion battery pack to extend its cruising range, will receive the public support needed to be successful.
Better Place’s founder and chairman Shai Agassi is banking that the project will be successful, and so are investors like HBSC Bank, that has already helped his company raise large amounts of investment capital.
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