Project Better Place Pitches British PM

Shai Agassi’s worldwide whirlwind tour pushing his Project Better Place electric car infrastructure startup shows no signs of stopping, now the Independent reports that the entrepreneur has even pitched his startup’s plan to British Primer Minister Gordon Brown. The PM is expected to ask auto manufacturers to make all new cars sold in the UK either electric or hybrid by 2020 when he attends the British International Motor Show this week. According to The Independent, Project Better Place’s tech is the most developed of several proposals the government is considering. Project Better Place declined to comment.

The UK market is larger than either Israel and Denmark, where Project Better Places has already inked deals. And Brown is serious about electrifying the British fleet. Speaking at the G-8 Summit at the start of July, Brown suggested a punitive tax to help reach his goal of getting the emissions of all cars below 100 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer by 2020. Such a tax would be very similar to the tax systems in Denmark and Israel that could make Project Better Place’s proposed electric cars financially attractive.

We’re still waiting for official word as to whether or not Project Better Place will move into Portugal, where its business partners Nissan-Renault recently signed an agreement to provide electric cars and charging infrastructure. Project Better Place was not named as part of the deal.

Stateside, the San Francisco’s mayor’s office tells us they are continuing their push to get the Bay Area to be the first U.S. region to electrify its cars. A spokesman for the mayor said that following discussions with Project Better Place, the startup is now conducting a feasibility study to see what is needed to bring their electric car scheme to the Bay Area. Meanwhile, Mayor Newsom is worried that Hawaii might beat him to the electric car punch.

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