TreeHugger is undoubtedly psyched about electric vehicles such as the Tesla and Volt coming down the pipeline. However, it seems one critical piece of the electric car puzzle has been notably absent - how do you fill 'er up? Sure, if you live in an area where you can recharge through an outlet in your garage, things look good. However, for the rest of us, electric cars are impractical without some sort of infrastructure to get electricity from the grid into our batteries. Luckily, charging stations may be on the horizon. Yesterday, Project Better Place announced plans to provide a system of charging and battery exchange stations throughout the world. The process by which customers buy power is being likened to mobile phone usage.
In the same way that wireless operators deploy a network of cell towers to provide an area of mobile phone coverage, Project Better Place will establish a network of charging spots and battery exchange stations to provide access to electricity to power vehicles. The company will work with car makers and source batteries so that consumers who subscribe to the network can get subsidized vehicles which are cheaper to buy and operate than today's fuel-based cars. Consumers will still own their cars and will have multiple car models to choose from.
The company is planning to start rolling out the concept in test markets over the next 2 years. If the project is successful, look for a few less gas stations where you live.