Better Place Takes First Step in China

Better Place took a first step today in China by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Chery Automobile Co., China’s largest independent auto producer and exporter, to collaborate on electric vehicle technology in the world’s largest auto market. As part of the collaboration agreement, the Chery exhibit at Auto China 2010 features elements of the Better Place EV solution, including electric car charge spots and lithium ion batteries switch technology displayed with a Riich G5 sedan.

“With only 2% of China’s population owning cars and 80% of sales in 2009 to first-time car buyers, China has the opportunity to create and lead an entirely new category around clean transportation,” said Dan Cohen, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Better Place. “With the scale of Chery’s design and manufacturing capability and an industrial policy that favors Electric Vehicles over ICE, we believe China represents an unprecedented opportunity for Better Place. Our collaboration with Chery is just the beginning for Better Place in China.”

“Chery has been a pioneer in Electric Car technology since 2001,” said Dr. Yuan, Vice President, Chery. “We’ve closely followed Better Place for nearly two years and believe that our collaboration offers both companies the potential to lead the Electric Vehicle market in China and beyond.”

China has set an industrial policy with the objective of becoming the largest Electric Vehicle developer and manufacturer in the world, enabling the country to leapfrog internal combustion engine (ICE) technology and go straight to electric transport. China is the world’s second largest consumer of oil behind the U.S., which historically has led the ICE vehicle market, and ahead of Japan, the leader in hybrid technology. By 2020, China is expected to rely on 65% of foreign oil imports.

HSBC research predicts that China’s share of the global EV market will grow from 2.7% this year to 35% by 2020. During this time period, China will overtake Japan by 2016 and the U.S. by 2019 in dominating the global Electric Vehicles market.

Under the terms of the MOU, Better Place and Chery will jointly develop switchable-battery Electric Vehicle prototypes with the goal of securing regional Chinese government EV pilot projects.

Better Place welcomes all automakers to develop cars that use the company’s network of Electric Vehicle battery switch stations and charge spots.

To visit the Better Place technology display with Chery at Auto China 2010, join us at he Chery booth in Hall E3 in the New Chinese International Exhibition Center, April 23 through May 2.

Better Place, the leading electric vehicle services provider, is accelerating the global transition to sustainable transportation. Better Place is building the infrastructure and intelligent network to deliver a range of services to drivers, enable widespread adoption of electric vehicles, and optimize energy use.

The Better Place network addresses historical limitations to adoption by providing unlimited driving range in a convenient and accessible manner. The company works with all parts of the transportation ecosystem, including automakers, battery suppliers, energy companies, and the public sector, to create a compelling solution. Based in California and privately held, Better Place has operating companies in Israel, Denmark, and Australia.