Seems the talks I reported on last summer between the Ontario government and Better Place have proven fruitful. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and auto industry officials, as well as Better Place’s Shai Agassi, will host a conference call/press conference at 10:30 a.m. (EST) in Toronto this morning to discuss a new partnership with Better Place. This adds Ontario to a list that includes Denmark, Israel, Australia and California.
Details to come, but for background here’s a story I wrote for the Toronto Star back in September.
UPDATE: A few bullet points from Better Place’s announcement…
- It appears to be a symbolic commitment. Very early days. No money has changed hands, though there has been handshakes.
- Better Place will set up its Canadian head office in Ontario.
- It will also establish an electric vehicle demonstration and education centre in Toronto.
- The government will do a comprehensive study, to be released in May, that will look at ways to accelerate the manufacture and deployment of electric vehicles.
- Better Place will at the same time come up with a charging-network plan and estimated timeline for building it out. This will also, presumably, estimate costs.
- Toronto-based “green electricity” retailer Bullfrog Power has partnered with Better Place as its electricity provider, though it’s unclear where this partnership will actually lead.
I’ll be writing a more detailed story for the Toronto Star, so check back for the link tomorrow.