Israeli company Better Place recently announced a strategic agreement with China Southern Power Grid (CSG), reportedly the world’s eighth largest utility company, to advance an electric vehicle roll out in Guangzhou, China’s third largest city with approximately six million people.
The most immediate outcome of the partnership will be the the opening of a Better Place battery switch station before the end of the year that is similar to ones already operating in Copenhagen, Tel Aviv, and Toronto.
According to municipal government representatives, the strategic partnership also calls for upgrades to public fleets, and encouraging local auto-manufacturers to produce electric cars with switchable batteries, which CSG officials say is essential as charging infrastructure alone will not be enough to support the growing number of electric vehicle drivers.
Better Place is hoping to broaden its agreement with CSG, a state-owned utility, and their connection to the Chinese government’s seven strategic sectors, one of which includes building internationally competitive green cars. If the partnership evolves, Better Place could have battery switch stations all over CSG’s coverage area in southern China, a region that includes an estimated 230 million people.