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OK, I admit that the term "nationwide" in the headline is a bit grandiose-sounding. After all, the Principality of Monaco is a really small country (just 1.95 km² or 0.76 sq mi). This is like the Vatican being "the first country to fully offset CO2 emissions."

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If you want to get an answer to the question of whether or not consumers will flock to plug-in vehicles, Southern California Edison's Ed Kjaer and Better Place's Sven Thesen would be great people to get to put up some answers. That's exactly what happened at the Austin Alt Car expo last weekend, where they presented an optimistic yet realistic assessment of what PHEVs might bring to the auto industry. The real question, Kjaer said, isn't "Will Consumers Buy In?" but will the OEMs build PHEVs in

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Starting right about now (1 pm Pacific time), the folks from Better Place will hop onto the Seesmis video conversation channel and talk about what's new with the Australia announcement. I'll be listening in and updating this post with any news, but if you want to join in yourself, set up and account quickly and watch here (No, I don't get how a Seesmic video conversation works, either).

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Last week, Better Place CEO Shai Agassi gave a speech in San Francisco trying to sell his EV ideas. The Bay Area is one place that Agassi's battery-swapping electric vehicle company wants to make, well, better. So far, Israel and Denmark have officially signed up for the program, but SF can join the list of other areas where Better Place might set up shop (i.e., Japan). Should California install the Better Place system, Agassi said last week, the infrastructure would cost $1.5 billion. To do the

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A hint was given when the Spanish Government announced its wish list to reduce the Iberian country's dependence on oil but now it's been announced by Europa Press: The Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce has announced an agreement with Nissan-Renault to study the possibility of a large-scale project (à la Better Place) to manufacture and sell EVs in Spain, as well as creating a network to plug them. Renault has confirmed such contacts. Spain expects to have one million elec

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The United Kingdom's PM Gordon Brown is meeting car manufacturers to try to persuade them to mass-produce electric cars. The carrot he's offering is selling them with payment plans that emulate cell phone contracts, à la "Better Place." This scheme, already been taken up by Israel and Denmark (and even Portugal), sells heavily subsidised vehicles – or even gives them away – in return for contracts to buy the electricity to charge them, like cell phones. The contract would allo

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