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Summary:

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is in talks with electric vehicle startup Project Better Place about building the infrastructure for a fleet of plug-in cars in the city, including parking meter charging stations and battery replacement stations. Newsom traveled to Israel last week to meet with […]

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is in talks with electric vehicle startup Project Better Place about building the infrastructure for a fleet of plug-in cars in the city, including parking meter charging stations and battery replacement stations.

Newsom traveled to Israel last week to meet with representatives of the company. The mayor’s office tells us that during a luncheon with Moshe Kaplinsky, CEO of Project Better Place Israel (pictured after the jump with the mayor), and Aliza Peleg, a rep from the startup’s U.S. offices, Newsom offered to work with Project Better Place if it would consider doing a test project in San Francisco. Newsom also met with the company’s chairman, Idan Offer, at a reception earlier.

The city is already in early talks with private companies that could potentially work with Project Better Place to build an electric vehicle infrastructure, according to the mayor’s office. Newsom was also said to be “very impressed” with the Project Better Place’s team in Israel.

If San Francisco does do a deal with Project Better Place, it would be the first city in the U.S. to get on board with Shai Agassi’s electric vehicle infrastructure plan (with three cars, San Francisco currently has one of the largest plug-in hybrid fleets in the country). This is the first we’ve heard of Project Better Place being in serious discussions stateside; we’ve tried to contact them for comment and when we hear back, will update the post.

Project Better Place also showed off a prototype of its electric vehicle in Israel over the weekend. But by then, Newsom had already jetted back to the States to speak at the New Yorker’s “Stories from the Near Future,” conference. In his talk, he described Project Better Place’s plans in Israel, saying that San Francisco wants “to be the first city [in the country] to adopt that strategy.”

Video courtesy of Israel21c. Golden Gate Bridge photo courtesy of http2007.

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  1. Project Better Place Might Charge Up SF – GigaOM Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    [...] Edit Staff, Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 12:54 PM PT Comments (0) Shai Agassi’s electric vehicle infrastructure startup, Project Better Place, may be coming to San Francisco. The company is in talks with Mayor Gavin Newsom about building the infrastructure for a fleet of plug-in cars for the city, including parking meter charging stations and battery replacement stations. Newsom last week traveled to Israel to check out the company’s operations there, and was said to be “very impressed” with its team. Earth2Tech got the full scoop from the mayor’s office — check out the story here. [...]

  2. Rory Gawler Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    Ah yes, 3. The largest domestic fleet.

    California, always so ahead of the game.

  3. Roundup: Icahn may go proxy on Yahoo, Craigslist countersues eBay, and more » VentureBeat Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    [...] mayor, Gavin Newsom, may want to help Project Better Place move to his city, according to Earth2Tech. Better Place is an electric car startup that wants to build recharging stations all over Israel [...]

  4. Project Better Place To Launch In SF on PSFK Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    [...] reports that San Francisco’s mayor traveled to Israel recently to see a prototype system and is in [...]

  5. If Project Better Place published their business plan in English, more people would be able to see that their claim of 7 cents per mile in cost is not credible.

  6. Some numbers. Let’s assume batteries cost $500/kw-hr (which is very low) and they can last for 2000 charge cycles (also optimistic). Now assume 300 watt-hours per mile for vehicle use (also reasonable).

    Now crank the math. That works out to 7.5 cents per mile FOR JUST THE BATTERIES! That leaves no money for the rest of the car, no money for the electricity, and no money for the infrastructure needed.

    The numbers cited by PBB simply make no sense, unless they’ve invented the miracle battery. If so, they should just sell that.

  7. majoritymag.com» Blog Archive » E-Cars for San Francisco? Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    [...]                                       via earth2tech [...]

  8. PROJECT BETTER PLACE DEBUTS ELECTRIC CAR PROTOTYPE IN JERUSALEM | Energy Stocks Blog Monday, May 19, 2008

    [...] Project Better Place: “How can we make the world a better place? One electric car at a time.” – San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome, discussing Project Better Place: “[San Francisco wants] to be the first city [in the U.S.] to adopt that strategy.” Get post [...]

  9. David J. Mausolf Monday, May 26, 2008

    The automotive and energy players have largely already decided against battery swapping technology. Except for Nissan, which hopes to control the market with its vehicles there will be limited demand for battery swapping technologies. A PHEV-40 system such as the Chevrolet Volt should account for at least 70% of the daily driving needs of most U.S. consumers, while the consumer retains control of the vehicle. Additionally, PBP missed its chance to work with utilities on developing smart recharging technology. As a result, most utilities such as Xcel Energy are working with smart charging systems such as V2Green’s which utilize a Level 1 or 2 charging system.

  10. SF Mayor: Solar Program As Early As July 1 « Earth2Tech Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    [...] the city’s potential plans with electric vehicle infrastructure company Project Better Place (which we reported here) and Newsom said the San Francisco Bay Area wants to be the first region to make a deal with [...]

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