Better Place CEO Shai Agassi is looking towards Australia to become a leader in electric vehicle technology.  According to Agassi, Australia could become the modern day equivalent to oil rich Middle Eastern countries if they follow his plans and quickly switch to EV production and lithium-ion battery production.

The words from Agassi came at a recent lecture called the Alfred Deakin Eco-Innovation Lecture which took place in Melbourne.  He proposed that Australia puts an infrastructure in place for EVs including home recharging units, work charging stations, and roadside battery swapping units.

Agassi has reasons for promoting EVs and he runs Better Place, which according to Wards Auto, is the only privately owned company that is currently developing an EV infrastructure.  He calls upon the world to produce 1 billion EV batteries within the next few years to meet the demand for EVs.

Though some of his statements may be a stretch, such as his warning that all new cars will be electric within 20 years, his vision for the need for a proper EV infrastructure is spot on.

The company is trying to raise more than $819 million dollars to fund quick change battery stations and roadside chargers that look like parking meters, which they intend to install throughout Australia.  This is to be accomplished by 2012 if all goes as planned. 

According to Agassi, Better Place will break even on their investment in Australia with as little as 50,000 EVs on their roads, a number amounting to a mere .5% of the countries entire vehicle population.

The government of Australia has not finalized any decisions about the proposition from Better Place at this point.

Source:  Wards Auto (login required)