Better Place, the world’s leading electric car services provider, has announced a strategic agreement with China Southern Power Grid (CSG), the world’s eighth largest utility according to the Fortune Global 500.
The agreement calls for the companies to open a battery switch station and joint education center in Guangzhou before the end of the year, while working to formalize a joint-venture partnership.
According to the deal, the municipal government of Guangzhou will work to assist Better Place and CSG in their efforts to create a supply chain hub and electric car network in China’s third largest city. The municipal government will encourage local car manufacturers, such as Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group, to produce electric cars with switchable batteries. It also calls for the city to promote electric-car adoption in fleet segments including public-sector vehicles and private-sector fleets such as taxis.
“China Southern Grid is an important partner in a huge market that is moving quickly toward the mass-market development of electric cars and is embracing battery switch as the primary means of range extension,” said Better Place CEO Shai Agassi. “Our collaboration with China Southern and the support of the Guangzhou government open the door to new opportunities for switchable-battery electric cars made by Chinese manufacturers for the domestic and export markets.”
“Electric cars present a great opportunity for China and are critical to achieve a low carbon economy. We will support this rapidly growing industry by encouraging production of electric cars in the region and promoting adoption in fleets,” said Wu Yimin, Executive Vice Mayor of Guangzhou. “The cooperation between China Southern Grid and Better Place is a strategic step, and both companies will have our full support. “
By the end of the year, Better Place will have battery switch stations under deployment in countries on four continents, including the US, Europe, Australia and now China.