Better Place has been signing deals to install its battery swapping and electric vehicle recharging station network around the world, for example, in Denmark, Tokyo and Canada. Not everyone is a fan of Better Place's methods, but now people in the company's home turf of Israel can get a closer look at what the deal is with the opening of the company's first electric vehicle (EV) demonstration center in Israel. To make the point totally clear that plug-in vehicles are a way to get off oil, the center is built inside a refurbished oil tank (pictured above). The center includes a 1.5 kilometer (one mile) test driving track for visitors to drive an EV on. The center opens February 14th.

As part of the center's opening, Better Place announced that it has so far signed up 92 corporate fleet owners and a new partnership with Dor Alon, one of Israel's leading gas station operators, to install battery switch stations. There was a number included in the Better Place release that we hadn't seen before: the company's new partners "have agreed to convert a portion of over 45,000 internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles from Renault when commercially available in 2011." 45,000 conversions? Hmmm.

[Source: Better Place]


PRESS RELEASE

Better Place Opens First Electric Vehicle Demonstration Center

Ramat HaSharon, Israel (February 7, 2010) - Better Place today announced the grand opening of the company's first electric vehicle (EV) demonstration center in Israel, which is constructed inside a refurbished oil tank, symbolizing the transition to electric transportation taking place worldwide.

The company marked the occasion by announcing the signing of 92 corporate fleet owners to date as well as a partnership with Dor Alon, one of Israel's leading gas station operators, for the deployment of battery switch stations at Dor Alon's facilities. Leading companies including Computer Associates and Motorola now join the ranks of 92 Better Place Vision Partners that have agreed to convert a portion of over 45,000 internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles from Renault when commercially available in 2011.

The opening of the Better Place Center represents an important step for the company as it prepares for commercial launch in Israel and Denmark next year. The Center is open to the public to come and familiarize themselves with all aspects of the Better Place solution: a fully electric, battery-powered car; a comprehensive infrastructure that includes charge spots and a battery switch station; and a comprehensive suite of in-car services designed to provide drivers with the best possible EV driving experience.

"Today's announcement marks another step toward our commercial launch next year in Israel," said Moshe Kaplinsky, CEO, Better Place Israel. "Israel welcomes the world to come and experience the thrill of clean, electric vehicles."

The Better Place Center is built on the Pi Glilot site – one of the last gasoline storage and distribution centers remaining in Israel. The Center sits on a 750-square-meter site, offers a unique virtual experience along with a driving track for the electric vehicles and expects to receive tens of thousands of visitors from Israel and abroad in its first year.

The tour of the Center begins with an exciting, multi-media show, and combines a large screen experience with an innovative hologram and individual screens placed alongside the seats, specially fashioned out of old car seats. The tour then gives each visitor the opportunity to drive an electric vehicle, which takes place on a specially-designed 1.5 kilometer test track. In the near future, the Better Place Center will have the Renault Fluence ZE for demonstrations, which will be available in Israel in 2011.

The tour is available to groups and individuals from Israel and abroad, and to anyone who wants to learn more about Better Place. The Better Place Center will be open to the general public, beginning Feb. 14, after a week of events to mark the launch of the Center
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