Friday, February 25, 2011

To a Better Place…

It’s not everyday that you get to the see the future.

But my visit to the Better Place Visitor facility was one of those days.

BetterPlace is a vision of allowing us to have the freedom of our cars with zero reliance or dependency on oil or gas.

What is happening in Israel in this respect is truly remarkable.

Imagine this…

Your car charges overnight in your garage/front yard.

In the morning, you have 160km/100miles worth of driving available to you on that charge (which is good enough for most people everyday.)

When you get to work (or wherever your destination is), you can plug in again and keep the battery full.

For much longer rides, when you don’t have time to recharge (a full charge is about 6 hours), you will pull into an automated switching stations where, in about 90 seconds, they remove the battery and replace it with a new one (video here).

What’s more, the car is connected to a smart system so that, it can tell you which battery replacement stations have the shortest wait time in them.

But, for the most part, you never really need that.

And you NEVER, ever have to fill up with gas.

To make this a reality, they are building an entire infrastructure of Project Better Place Visitors Center (4)charging stations around Israel so that anywhere you go, you’ll just be able to plug in your car when you park.

Instead of paying for gas or electricity, you pay for the amount of miles/kilometers you drive.

Kind of like buying your cell phone and then paying for minutes…but only for the minutes you actually use.

The cars don’t need oil changes or maintenance in the conventional sense.Project Better Place Visitors Center (3)

All of this is the feature of the car…but the way they sell it, just brilliant.

It’s a story about the environment, about health, about security and how this car company frees us from all of that. They are truly selling the movement and showing why and how this is not only necessary, but feasible.

And the cars themselves?

I test drove one and the first thing I noticed…no noise. So quiet. Handled well, accelerated beautifully. (see the video)

I’m a believer.

Not just in the car, but how this car can begin to turn the tide of global warming. To end our dependence and subservience to despotic oil regimes.

Just awesome.

For more:

Here’s my 7 minute video of a test drive of the car.

Here’s a bit on how the battery switching process (when needed) works.

Here’s the video explaining the charging process.

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