Two and a half years ago (I cannot believe it was so long ago!) I visited Better Place while studying in Denmark. My friends and I received a tour of the Renault Fluence Z.E., an overview of the systems and concept behind the battery-transfer, and even our first drive of an all-electric vehicle. I remember well my thrill over the quiet power of the electric engine and my excitement for the possibility of a large network of electric vehicles.
After all, who better than the Danish to make it happen? Denmark has everything the United States lacks – a sustainability-minded policy framework for support, a progressive taxation system for financial leverage, wind energy for grid integration, and an aggressive national goal to reduce CO2 emissions and increase renewable energy generation mainly through wind power. Unfortunately for Better Place, things did not work out as planned.
Last May Better Place finally fell apart. It seems this outcome was more a result of poor strategy than an indication that electric vehicles would not compete. Luckily, the Danish Energy Authority is continuing to work on electric vehicles in Denmark. For me, the question that remains is this: did Better Place’s battery-swap concept go with the company to the graveyard?
Better Place’s Failure Is Blow to Renault – WSJ.com.
http://www.ens.dk/klima-co2/transport/elbiler (In Danish – get a browser to translate for you)