Ask The Best And Brightest: Questions For Project Better Place?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

While we at TTAC continue to cover the serious, the silly and the sublime from the world of cars in this holiday season, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. We have a grip of new blog and editorial series in development right now, the first of which we’re debuting today: The Project Better Place Birthwatch. This series will be a collaboration between a new contributor here, Tal Bronfer, who will be monitoring and reporting on Better Place’s Israeli rollout, and Martin Schwoerer who will be covering Denmark’s collaboration with the EV dream company. True to TTAC’s mission, we’ve asked Messrs Bronfer and Schwoerer to dig deep into Better Place’s heady swirl of public funding, private companies, and new technology to critically explore the reality of Better Place’s reimagination of the automotive relationship. Because coverage of all things EV tends to be enthusiast- or hobbyist-oriented (read: strictly for the fanboys), the idea for this series is to look beyond Better Place’s green-tinted pitch and learn more about the true viability, costs, benefits and complications of the nascent EV infrastructure business. To ensure that we don’t miss any of the important questions, please take a moment to read Tal’s introduction to the fundamentals of Project Better Place, and let us know what questions you would like answered and what elements you would like to see explored as we take on this sprawling story.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Andy D Andy D on Dec 22, 2009

    All the details aside, for EVs to ever be practical, an infra-structure is necessary. How far could you drive a regular car without gas stations?

  • Mark MacInnis Mark MacInnis on Dec 22, 2009

    My ICE total cost per mile is 24.2 cents...gas (@ this morning's $2.549 local per gallon), oil, capital cost and repairs, insurance and registration. This is @ 30k miles per year, so admittedly, my fixed costs (capital, insurance, registration) per mile is much lower than most drivers. In order for this to be a value proposition to me, this is the benchmark they need to make this a value added proposition to me. Of course, as we know, variable costs (i.e., gas and oil) have a way of, well, each dime per gallon price increase adds 4/10 of a penny to my cost. So, gas at $4 gallon would push my per-mile to 31.0 cents.... Why, yes, I AM a cost accountant. Why do you ask?

    • Zerofoo Zerofoo on Dec 22, 2009

      Mark, Shai's recent TED talk pegs the cost at around $.08 per mile falling to $.04 per mile in 10-20 years. That doesn't factor in the fixed costs you mentioned. He also talks about refueling frequency. He states that there is a payback provision if you need to exchange your battery more frequently than 50 times per year. This encourages the company to provide batteries that meet certain performance requirements. Check out his talk here: -ted

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Dec 22, 2009

    Numbers rule!

  • Andy D Andy D on Dec 23, 2009

    Also, for any improvement to catch on, it has to better than what it is superseding. EVs in general have not yet achieved this.