Better Place to place chargers at local malls
Better Place, which is developing infrastructure for the future generation of electric vehicles, and Israel Malls, which operates 18 shopping centers throughout the country, finalized an agreement yesterday to install recharging points at mall parking lots.
Parking spaces next to the recharging points will be reserved for customers who want to recharge their electric cars while shopping. Over the next few weeks, shopping centers in six locations will be outfitted with the recharging points, including the Petah Tikva Mall, the Grand Mall in Haifa and Netanya's Hasharon Mall.
Better Place, founded by local entrepreneur Shai Agassi, says electric cars will only make their debut on the local market by 2011, but the company plans to have recharging infrastructure and battery replacement centers in place well before then. Nineteen big companies that maintain vehicle fleets have already contracted with Better Place to install recharging points on their parking lots. The trendsetters include Partner, Matrix, Teva, Netafim and Pelephone. Parking lots operated by the Tel Aviv and Haifa municipalities have also signed agreements with the company.
Preparing for the revolution to come, the company has more than recharging stations up its sleeve.
A few weeks ago Better Place presented its new battery replacement center in Japan. Electric vehicle batteries can be replaced at such centers (rather than recharged) within 40 seconds, greatly extending the distance of travel. These stations will serve inter-urban trips, while during any inner-city drive, the batteries can be recharged during extended parking.
Better Place CEO Moshe Kaplinsky added that the move to electric cars is near. "We are working now to install broad infrastructure to provide for the electric cars that will arrive in Israel in 2011."
Moshe Rosenblum, CEO of Israel Malls, said the company is pleased to be the first to install a network of recharging points.