photo: Better Place
In today’s New York Times, I write about Better Place’s unveiling of its software platform for managing tens of thousands of electric cars on the road and the grid. Software as much as hardware will be key to making electric cars a mass market phenomenon:
Electric cars may be all about hardware – batteries, drivetrains, charging stations — but companies like Better Place are depending on software to give a niche product mass-market appeal.
At the Frankfurt Motor Show on Tuesday, Better Place, which builds electric vehicle charging networks, is expected to take the wraps off a software platform that tells drivers when and where to charge their batteries, while giving utilities the ability to manage the impact of tens of thousands of vehicles tapping into the power grid.
The company, based in Palo Alto, Calif., has signed deals to roll out networks of charging spots and battery switching stations in Australia, Denmark, California, Canada and Hawaii and Israel.
Better Place will own the car batteries and drivers will buy “miles” (or kilometers) on a subscription plan much like they purchase mobile phone minutes. That means Better Place must track the location and capacity of thousands of batteries at any given moment to properly bill customers and ensure that fresh batteries and charging posts are available when needed.
You can read the rest of the story here.