Electric vehicle infrastructure startup Better Place has been on a roll, convincing countries, and lately U.S. states, to test out its network of chargers and battery swap stations. So why not our neighbors up north? According to the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, Better Place and the Ontario government plan to announce a pilot Better Place project this morning in Toronto. Reportedly, Premier Dalton McGuinty and Minister of International Trade Sandra Pupatello will attend.
Better Place has told the media this morning to watch a webcast video at 7:30, so we’ll bring you more when we know more. Stay tuned!
Update: Better Place says it will create a Canadian head office in Ontario and will work with Bullfrog Power, a Canadian retailer which provides clean electricity. In addition, Better Place will partner with Macquarie Capital Markets of Canada to work on a network rollout plan as well as an investment timeline for the network.
Premier Dalton McGuinty gave a speech in which he said consumers are already comfortable with the Better Place’s business model, which is buying miles for a car like music for iPod. McGuinty said the project would do three things for Toronto: create green jobs, make life more convenient for car drivers of the future, and signal for Ontario that we are electric car-friendly. McGuinty said the Ontario government will report back this May with our findings.
Shai Agassi, CEO of Better Place, said this is the first step into Canada, and the startup will build an electric vehicle demonstration center in Toronto. The future will be driven by sustainable development, he said, and connecting the electric grid with parking and charging spots is the project of our generation. Most of the effort of installing such a grid is human capital and labor, you can’t outsource that, said Agassi, who added that electric vehicles will grow faster than any other the segment of the car industry since 1946.
Consumers want cleaner cars that they can feel good about, Agassi said. When governments signal where the market is going, consumers will go there. “We believe that this is what society will look like in 25 years, but starting today,” he said.
Image courtesy of Bullfrog.