web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Is It A Car? Is It A Network? No — It’s Both


Better Place electric car dealership

Better Place electric car dealership
Photo Credit: Serge Attal/FLASH90

But why the need to prohibit by law, other electric cars in the Israeli market, and why is nobody screaming about the lack of generating capacity to service this new fleet of electric cars?

At this point it’s useful to know that Better Place’s founder, Shai Aggasi, built a successful software company in Israel. This was bought by SAP which led him to be number two at the German software giant and in line to be the youngest-ever CEO of a Fortune 100 company. He mysteriously left his position at SAP 5 years ago after a discussion at Davos, only to pop up a few months later with a hair-brained idea to cut Israel’s (and later the world’s) dependence on oil for transportation. Better Place is not a car company, it’s an infrastructure-builder and an operator of a network – more like a mobile phone network operator than a builder and seller of cars.

Better Place is doing something unique with their network. Every single charge point connected to a battery is monitored and controlled centrally. The rate of charge can be individually tailored. Better Place receives a minute by minute update from the Israeli electric grid on how much capacity there is to spare in the system. Better Place has a proprietary system to prioritize power delivery. A car with a 90% battery, charging at a place of work that won’t be needed for 6 hours (when it’s driver might only need 40% to get home) can have it’s charging current reduced or cut. A car that has 5% battery and is a 60 mile drive from the nearest battery switch can keep charging.

With this astonishing capability Better Place becomes a huge net benefit instead of a drain. All electric grids must run with surplus power all the time. As the number of cars in a Better Place network increases it becomes a massively distributed storage system for excess capacity the likes of which has never been seen. Once you understand this, prohibiting uncontrolled charging of electric cars in Israel makes more sense.

Of course there needs to be careful scrutiny of Better Place – they will be in the position of a monopoly-provider because there is no one else is even contemplating a competing system to completely bypass oil for transportation. It’s akin to the earliest roll out of mobile phone networks before anyone had fully understood how successful investment in network infrastructure would be. It certainly looks, on the face of it, grossly uncompetitive that Israel has effectively prohibited the use and import of Nissan’s Leaf all-electric car, or “range extended” electric cars like the plug in Prius or Chevy Volt (sold as the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera in Europe & UK). But we are at an early stage in infrastructure development where pioneers need to see some reward for risk-taking, without regulation killing an idea before it has a chance.

The next country scheduled for a roll-out after Israel is Denmark. Why Denmark? Denmark has invested heavily in wind power but, as with many forms of renewable energy, this unreliable power source has not allowed Denmark to reduce its fixed generating capacity as much as they had expected. Once they understood the Better Place network capability, they pursued Better Place.

A network of smartly-controlled electric vehicles can become a very useful energy storage system into which Denmark can load the peaks from their wind generation leaving more reliable fossil systems to carry the main fluctuating load. It’s never been economically viable to build hugely expensive banks of static lithium batteries just for this job, but when you split them up, put them in cars and sell subscriptions, suddenly you have a win-wind economic model.

About the Author: Brian of London regularly blogs at Israellycool.com about life in Israel, technology & business topics. He made aliyah from the UK to Israel in 2009, and owns and operates his own import company in Israel with more than 15 staff.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Is It A Car? Is It A Network? No — It’s Both”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
What, me incite terror? Abba: "The Jews must be barred by any means possible."
Ex-Senior Justice Official Asks Homeland Security to Ban Abbas from US
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Astaire-112114-Horse

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

L to R: Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

South-Florida-logo

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.

Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

More Articles from Brian of London
Better Place founder Shai Agassi.

On Monday, electric car company Better Place announced that Shai Agassi, up to now the face and driving force behind Better Place, was stepping back from his CEO rôle and would continue on as a member of the board and major shareholder. Evan Thornley, Better Place’s CEO in Australia, is stepping up to the global rôle. The news seemed to come out of the blue.

Better Place electric car dealership

If Israeli electric car company, Better Place, only gave the world an electric car that could switch an empty battery for a full one in five minutes that would have been enough! But Better Place is also the key to making renewable energy production practical all over the world. Dai aynu!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/businessfinance/is-it-a-car-is-it-a-network-no-its-both/2012/02/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: