The Index Project
Index Award 2009 Winners
Better Place
Electric vehicle infrastructure that makes electric transport convenient and affordable

“We actually believe there is a huge design transformation that will come as we shift from the old model of cars to the new model of cars,” says Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO of Better Place. “The last transformation of cars happened in 1908 when Ford invented the model T and it took us another 100 years to come up with the invention of the warm cup holder. We look at other industries and these transformations happen a lot faster.”

The Better Place electrical car infrastructure is an ambitious design focused on the effort to move drivers, the automotive industry and energy-distribution past the internal-combustion engine.

Elements of the Better Place system include hundreds of thousands of plug-in charge-spots, meant to be even more ubiquitous and easily accessed than current petrol stations; switching stations for mechanized battery exchange of lithium-ion batteries which, in a typical sedan, can deliver a range of about 100 miles / 160 kilometers on a single charge; advanced computing platform and unique software integrated into electric vehicles to optimize use of the Better Place network, including navigational services; energy-demand management capabilities for utility companies that can minimize charging requirements during peak electricity consumption hours by leveraging connectivity with a car and known user profiles; and an open network capable of serving all electric vehicle drivers to aid in an accelerated transition to electric vehicles.

“We’ve thought of a complete scenario, end-to-end, not leaving something for somebody to complete, something as a gap for the consumer to figure out how to get around it, not creating a problem for somebody else, not passing the problem from the carmaker to the battery maker, or the battery maker to the grid designers, or the utility company or the country. We’ve put together a complete system with a successful business model that entices consumers and at the same time is good for the country.”

Designed by
Better Place Inc. - USA