A new joint venture between Danish electricity company Dong Energy A/S and Silicon-Valley based Project Better Place plans to build an electric car network throughout Denmark.
Due for completion by 2011, the scheme will install 20,000 recharging stations at parking lots and outside homes.
Vehicles are to be provided by Renault, using Nissan produced Li-ion batteries, and will have a 90-mile range between recharging. Batteries will use excess power from Dong’s wind turbines, but revert back to coal-powered sources on calmer days. Even then, project organiser’s claim that CO2 emissions will still be around half of that associated with gasoline engines.
Currently, there are many days when Denmark's wind capacity actually exceeds its country's needs, and power costs approach zero. In order to continue to make money, the power is sold cheap to neighboring countries. Theoretically, this new project could use that wind power to charge thousands of car batteries in cars and at Project Better Place's battery swapping stations.
Denmark, a relatively small, densely populated country, with closely packed urban centres, should be an ideal location to experiment with a project of this scale. Another similar network is currently being rolled out in Israel.
Organisers expect expansion to other European countries in the near future, but at this stage it’s unclear how viable such networks will be in larger or less densely populated countries.
Via The Detroit News
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