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by Jordan Dashow

Can you imagine a world where gasoline cars are a thing of the past? Where the cost of every mile isn’t influenced by the price of oil? Where you can drive knowing your car can be used as a tool to make the Earth greener rather than more polluted?

Better Place can.

Better Place is a company that develops and sells transportation infrastructure that supports electric vehicles. Better Place believes that you need the proper infrastructure for electric vehicles to become a viable option. Without the infrastructure, one finds oneself in the predicament that  we are today where  electric cars are available but a very small percentage of the population owns them.

Two of the big issues with electric cars are cost and distance. The batteries that power electric cars are extremely expensive, causing electric cars to be more expensive than gasoline cars. Although many consumers may want to purchase electric cars in order to be more environmentally friendly, many cannot afford the extra few thousand dollars the car costs. In addition, because electric cars are powered by a battery and batteries have a limited life before they need to be charged, one cannot currently cover long distances in electric cars. Even if there is a station with an outlet that one can charge ones car with, most people do not have the time to waste, as recharging one’s car can take hours.

Better Place solves these issues by installing an infrastructure for the electric cars. Better Place emphasizes battery switch stations; these stations, strategically placed across the country solve the issue of distance. If your car is running low on battery, rather than going to a station to charge it (and then waiting 30 minutes +), you can go to a battery switch station, where the car’s battery will be replaced with a fully charged ne in less than a few minutes. This way you can continue driving without the inconvenience of waiting to charge your car. Meanwhile, your depleted battery will be recharged so it can replace someone else’s depleted battery a few hours later.

Better Place has also teamed up with Renault-Nissan to offer affordable electric cars. These cars will be sold at the same price or less than traditional gasoline cars; Better Place and Renault-Nissan plan on offsetting the high cost of the battery by charging electric car owners a subscription package (which isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds—we basically pay a subscription for our gasoline cars when we go to fill it with gas!)

These are just some of the many innovative ways Better Place is trying to rethink the auto industry. Israel is the first country in which Better Place will be creating an all-electric car infrastructure, followed by Denmark. Better Place has already had a “soft launch” for its affiliates, employees and their families and plans on having a hard launch in these countries within the next couple of years once the infrastructure is completely built. Only time will tell whether this company can truly revolutionize the electric car as they claim they can!

For more info, you can visit Better Place’s website here.