Project Better Place… An Update

I just received the following email regarding the Project Better Place project:

Hi Damon,

Hope all is well! I noticed you blogged about Better Place’s battery exchange station back in May so I just wanted to pass this information along to you as an FYI.  Better Place released figures today from a multi-national study that conducted systematic research on consumer interest in electric vehicles (including Hawaii), Israel, Denmark, Canada, and Australia. (EVs) – it surveyed drivers in the U.S.

Some of the key findings in the study included:
•    More than one in three would not consider a ‘gas only’ car for their next vehicle.
•    EVs have mainstream appeal – interest spans all demographic groups and driving patterns.
•    Americans’ top priority in their next car is fuel efficiency.
•    Americans are concerned about climate change, air pollution, and dependence on oil.
•    There is a strong desire for the U.S. to provide global leadership in development of renewable energy.

I’ve also included the full release below.


Strong Consumer Interest in Electric Vehicles Bodes Well for New Era of Sustainable Transportation
Multi-national survey reveals that electric cars have mainstream appeal

Palo Alto, Calif. (July 13, 2009) – Nearly one in three (30%) U.S. car buyers are interested in purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) for their next car, according to a recent study on consumer EV sentiment sponsored by Better Place and conducted by Ipsos, a leading global market-research company. While interest in EVs was strong in all five nations surveyed, interest was highest in Israel, where 57% of drivers are interested in purchasing an EV for their next car. Denmark (40%), Australia (39%), Canada (35%; Greater Toronto area only), and the U.S. (30%) followed.  And, 28% of Israeli respondents said they would only consider an EV for their next vehicle.

Highlights of the survey of more than 8,000 drivers are:
•    Consumers are ready to move beyond gasoline. The multi-national study revealed that, on average, nearly half (48%) of car buyers do not plan to consider “gas-only” automobiles for their next car.
•    Electric cars have mainstream appeal. Interest in EVs spans all demographics and driving patterns, dispelling concerns that EVs are niche products.  Interest in EVs was widespread among men and women and across income levels.  Interest was high across the age spectrum as well, although younger drivers (18-34) were the most interested. Driving patterns had little impact on EV interest. Interest was also similar among those whose car was the secondary car in the household, the primary car in the household, and also among those for whom the car was the only car in the household.
•    Interest does vary on the basis of car buyers’ societal concerns. According to the study, most U.S. car buyers are concerned about air pollution or climate change (62%) and even more concerned about the country’s dependence on oil (74%), even more than terrorism (63%). Related to these concerns, U.S. car buyers want the nation to be a global leader in developing renewable energy (78%), reducing worldwide oil consumption (59%), and reducing pollution (55%).  Those expressing one or more of these concerns are more likely to say they are interested in purchasing an EV for their next car.

“The survey reflects the future of transportation, which is electric,” said Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO, Better Place.  “There’s a perfect storm of dynamics driving toward mainstream adoption of EVs, including consumer desire for a clean planet, global efforts to decrease oil consumption, transformation in the auto sector and significant investment in technology.  The combination of these factors is propelling the dawn of a new automotive era.”

About the Study Methodology:
The study was conducted in March and April 2009, when gas prices were near a 52-week low, and included more than 8,000 respondents from the U.S., Canada (Greater Toronto Area), Australia (Sydney/Central Coast, Melbourne/Geelong, Brisbane/Gold Coast), Denmark, and Israel. The size of the sample exceeds that of most studies of this type, increasing the reliability and precision of the estimates. Ipsos drew a stratified, random sample to reflect the gender, income and age profile of each local market from best-of-class, online-survey panels in each market. The sample was filtered to include only those individuals involved in the selection of their prior car or expected to be involved in their next car purchase. Participants were given comparable descriptions of electric, hybrid, and gas-only cars in order to assess their interest. Standard data cleaning procedures were employed, and Ipsos and Better Place performed statistical analyses.

About Better Place:
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. More information is available at

About Ipsos:
Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe. Visit to learn more.

3 Responses

  1. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that at least 65-70% of electric generation comes from burning fossil fuels – coal burning electric plants continue to pollute Earth in a major way. Renewable energy YES! Creating a “new” energy source yet still relying on burning fossil fuels at the basis of that energy NO!

  2. Very interesting. You mind if I repost it with atribution?

    Damon – No prob… thanks for asking.

  3. What I would be interested in is:

    1. What would the cost per mile be in HAWAII for an electric car vs regular car, considering our high electricity costs, higher car expenses, etc?

    2. Since at this time, the majority of electricity in Hawaii is generated by oil, what would the overall global carbon output be for an electric car vs a regular little car?

    I would want these answers before I considerd buying an electric car.

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