• May 2, 2011
Better Place has announced a strategic agreement with China Southern Power Grid Co. (CSG), the world's eighth largest utility company. The first step of the deal calls for the establishment of a battery swapping station and joint education center in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou before year's end. Meanwhile details of a full-blown joint-venture partnership will be formalized. Additionally, the Guangzhou city government will encourage local automakers to manufacture electric cars with switchable batteries.

CSG chairman, Zhao Jianguo, firmly believes that the "battery-switch model may become mainstream in China." While Better Place founder and chief executive officer, Shai Aggasi, says that:
Our collaboration with China Southern and the support of the Guangzhou government open the door to new opportunities for switchable-battery electric cars made by Chinese manufacturers for the domestic and export markets.
Better Place sees a trend towards battery swapping being spearheaded by utility companies and local governments in China, says company spokesman John Proctor. Recently, at the "2011 International Forum on Electric Vehicle Pilot City an Industry Development" in Shanghai, the State Grid Corporation of China boldly announced that the nation will likely have more than 2,300 swapping stations installed by the end of 2015.

[Source: Better Place]
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Better Place, China Southern Grid Sign Strategic Agreement Centered on Battery Switch Model

Guangzhou Municipal Government Signs Agreement to Aid New Partnership


TEL AVIV, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At a signing ceremony today in Israel with officials from Guangzhou, Better Place announced a strategic agreement with China Southern Power Grid Co. (CSG), the world's eighth largest utility according to the Fortune Global 500. The agreement, which focuses on joint electric car and infrastructure projects in CSG's service areas, will further advance electric cars with switchable batteries in China. The agreement calls for the companies to open a battery switch station and joint education center in Guangzhou before the end of the year, while working to formalize a joint-venture partnership.

"The cooperation between China Southern Grid and Better Place is a strategic step, and both companies will have our full support. We are pleased to host the joint education center, the first of its kind in China, later this year."

Underscoring Guangzhou's support for the Better Place-CSG cooperation, Executive Vice Mayor Wu Yimin today signed an agreement with Better Place Founder and CEO Shai Agassi that calls for the Municipal Government of Guangzhou to assist Better Place and CSG in their efforts to create a supply chain hub and electric car network in China's third largest city and home to CSG. The Guangzhou accord calls for the municipal government to encourage local car manufacturers, such as Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group, to produce electric cars with switchable batteries. It also calls for the city to promote electric-car adoption in fleet segments including public-sector vehicles and private-sector fleets such as taxis.

"China Southern Grid is an important partner in a huge market that is moving quickly toward the mass-market development of electric cars and is embracing battery switch as the primary means of range extension," Agassi commented. "Our collaboration with China Southern and the support of the Guangzhou government open the door to new opportunities for switchable-battery electric cars made by Chinese manufacturers for the domestic and export markets."

"Better Place has conducted extensive research and testing on its battery-switch technology combined with managed charging, which takes into account the attributes and needs of the electric grid as the electric-car industry grows rapidly in China," said China Southern Grid Chairman Zhao Jianguo. "We believe that networked infrastructure is critical to enable broad adoption and focusing on charging alone would be too costly and time-consuming. The battery-switch model may become mainstream in China and our joint visitor center and battery switch demonstration project with Better Place will help promote electric-car adoption in China by allowing potential customers to experience this innovative solution."

"Electric cars present a great opportunity for China and are critical to achieve a low carbon economy. We will support this rapidly growing industry by encouraging production of electric cars in the region and promoting adoption in fleets," said Wu Yimin, Executive Vice Mayor of Guangzhou. "The cooperation between China Southern Grid and Better Place is a strategic step, and both companies will have our full support. We are pleased to host the joint education center, the first of its kind in China, later this year."

The Better Place-CSG agreement calls for the companies to jointly engage relevant Chinese government bodies and other stakeholders, secure governmental policy support, and promote technical standards, where appropriate, to further accelerate China's rapidly-growing, electric-car industry. The companies will develop in phases the joint education center to host government and industry delegations and educate Chinese consumers about the benefits of going electric. The center will include interactive exhibits, meeting facilities, electric cars that visitors can test drive, and an automated battery switch station. The facility is slated to open before the end of year in central Guangzhou. Better Place currently operates similar centers near Tel Aviv, Copenhagen, and Toronto, hosting nearly 100,000 visitors per year.

As CSG and Better Place further develop their relationship, the companies also are looking at the potential for a joint commercial operation based on a switchable-battery, network-operator model. Their pilot projects and other joint activities will explore the benefits that switchable-battery electric cars and the networked infrastructure that supports them can deliver to the electric grid in CSG's service area, which spans five provinces, one million square kilometers, and 230 million people in Southern China.

CSG, which ranks number 156 on the Fortune Global 500 list of the world's largest corporations, is part of the Electric Vehicle Industry Alliance led by China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, or SASAC. The Chinese government created the alliance of state-owned auto, battery, electric, and oil companies with the ultimate goal of building internationally competitive electric-car brands. The Chinese government has declared the electric-car industry one of seven strategic emerging sectors, stated its intent for China to become the world's largest developer and manufacturer of electric cars, and offered strong support in the form of investment and incentives as the country seeks to leapfrog combustion-engine technology and reduce a growing dependence on oil.

Agassi added, "We are in advanced discussions with a number of Chinese automakers to partner around our open network solution and we will share our selection of preferred partners with the market once a final decision is made."

By the end of the year, Better Place will have battery switch stations under deployment in countries on four continents, including the U.S., Europe, Australia and now China. The deployments form the basis of a growing network for making electric cars more affordable, convenient and sustainable than today's cars with internal combustion engines. The Better Place model also offers governments around the world a solution for reducing dependence on oil and its harmful contributions to global climate change and local pollution while growing domestic green jobs.

About Better Place

Better Place, the world's leading electric car services provider, is accelerating the global transition to sustainable transportation. Better Place is building the infrastructure and intelligent network to deliver a range of services to drivers, enable widespread adoption of electric cars, and optimize energy use. The Better Place network addresses historical limitations to adoption by providing unlimited driving range in a convenient and accessible manner. The company works with all parts of the transportation ecosystem, including automakers, battery suppliers, energy companies, and the public sector, to create a compelling solution. Based in California and privately held, Better Place has operating companies in Israel, Denmark, and Australia. More information is available at www.betterplace.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      skierpage
      • 3 Years Ago
      Heavy spin, little reality, and every time this stuff gets echoed around the Internet, it gets more exaggerated! "The Guangzhou accord calls for the municipal government to encourage local car manufacturers, such as Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group, to produce electric cars with switchable batteries" And if GAIG decides not to? They currently make Chinese market versions of Hondas and Toyotas. In China and have no EV plans. Only Chery has signed up with BP, and only to the extent of "Better Place and Chery will jointly develop switchable-battery EV prototypes with the goal of securing regional Chinese government EV pilot projects." "the State Grid Corporation of China boldly announced that the nation will likely have more than 2,300 swapping stations" Nope, that' s NOT what they said at all! "State Grid plans to build 2,351 electric-charging and battery-swap stations with 220,000 charging poles to meet the development needs of electric-auto industry in the next five years" - http://www.sgeri.sgcc.com.cn/english/Center/Viewpoints/98003.shtml . Note the *AND*, State Grid may end up building 5 swapping stations and 2,346 charging stations. From the same link, Yao Jianguo, director of the State Grid smart grid research center, says "The construction of a large-scale charging station costs 20 to 30 million yuan ($3.05-4.57 million) and a small-scale one costs less than 10 million yuan, but it costs more than 100 million yuan to build a battery-swap station." Were all 2,351 stations to have battery swap, that's 35 BEELYUN DOLLARS. And as @Corstrat points out, they may not necessarily use Better Place's swapping. So the only reality of this is yet another "joint visitor center and battery switch demonstration project with Better Place". I'm not ruling BP out, but realize anything they put out is exaggerated.
      Nick From Montreal
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good luck getting paid by the Chinese. I like Better Place but Chinese corporations are known for making unrealistic exaggerated claims about their "future" sale prospects. Here in Canada we have sold two CANDU Nuclear plants to China (http://www.ccnr.org/exports_2.html) only to have them say that they would not pay unless *we* landed them *half* the money. We also had to agree to transfer some intellectual property to China. A terrible deal where Atomic Energy Canada and its subcontractors made *zero* profit and Canadian citizens are still paying for it in taxes. Grr. Let's hope that the Better Place story has a better ending.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      sounds big. also a little speculative. who'll make all the cars for that system..
      • 3 Years Ago
      So Better Place signed a deal with "China Southern Power Grid Co. (CSG), the world's eighth largest utility company. The first step of the deal calls for the establishment of a battery swapping station and joint education center in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou before year's end. Meanwhile details of a full-blown joint-venture partnership will be formalized." And BP apparently has to pay to put them in. On the other hand, Kandi Technologies, (NASDAQ-KNDI) has had their JV, giving KNDI a 30% "carried" interest with State Grid, the Worlds largest Utility covering 91% of China in place since late November using KNDI's Quick Battery Change Technology. From this translated link off the State Grid website you can see that their interest in KNDI had a lot to do with the 10 patents that KNDI has for Quick Battery Exchange. http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&u=http://www.zj.sgcc.com.cn/gsxw/201009/t20100929_7304.htm&ei=Nqv3TPyGIcX6lweahtWPAg&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://www.zj.sgcc.com.cn/gsxw/201009/t20100929_7304.htm%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3D77p%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official
      • 3 Years Ago
      After the brilliant video from ABC with warning on Catalyst Peak Oil we have an elegant solution from Shai Agassi and his "better place" - where we all will be driving Electric Cars very soon. It is the best interview with Shai Agassi we have seen so far. http://sufiy.blogspot.com/2011/05/lithium-drive-shai-agassi-on-green.html