Free “Better Place” Seminar in Sydney, TOMORROW!

Sorry for the late notice: I’m having trouble keeping up with emails etc.


Mass Adoption of Electrical Vehicles
– Battery Swap

Date:                Thursday, 26 November  2009

Time:                5:30 pm for 6:00 pm start

Venue:              Engineers Australia Auditorium,
Ground Floor, 8 Thomas Street, Chatswood

Speaker:           Ben Keneally  – Better Place Australia

Further Information:  Raymond Pau on 0424 308802 or

Background – Electrical Vehicles (EVs) were first in commercial use 100 years ago. However the capacity of the rechargeable battery limited the working range of EVs and was a major concern for EV users. Recently, a new concept to improve EVs working range has been introduced to overcome this problem and make EVs a viable alternative to the IC engine vehicle.

About the lecture – Mass Adoption of Electric Vehicles Battery Swap – Better Place is committed to ending the worlds dependence on oil by supporting the mass adoption of electric vehicles. This speech will give an overview of how Better Place can
overcome the convenience and cost challenges faced by electric vehicles. It will also examine the impact that the Better Placesystem can have to improve the utilisation of existing network infrastructure and the viability of renewable energy. It also examines the Greenhouse and pollution impacts of mass adoption of electric vehicles.

About the Presenter –  Ben Keneally is the Head of Marketing and External Affairs. In this role he helps develop the Better Placeservice offering and manages all forms of external communication with consumers, business and government. He joined Better Place after several years working in senior policy,strategy and finance roles in the NSW Public Service, including leadership of the Premiers Delivery Unit and serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to the NSW Premier. Prior to joining the public service, Ben was a Principal with The Boston Consulting Group where he worked extensively with consumer oriented product and service businesses in both Australia and North America.

Free Seminar. Visitors Welcome.

This entry was posted in Electric Vehicles, Robot Cars. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Free “Better Place” Seminar in Sydney, TOMORROW!

  1. readyline says:

    What is the difference between green consumption and all the regular consumption going on now anyway? What will EV’s be used for except to take people to the shopping mall to indulge in more consumption, green or otherwise.

    • eclipsenow says:

      1. Like them or not, we already have cars in society and while I’d prefer a massive transition to New Urbanism and public transport, we also need some time to transition and ‘breathing space’ and green cars may allow this.

      2. What’s wrong with consumption per se if it is all recyclable materials running on renewable energy?

  2. readyline says:

    1. I’m not sure about this “breathing space” you refer to. If peak oil is here, or soon to be, the ongoing decline will severely test any ongoing response to what is bound to be a very unpleasant situation. Besides there doesn’t seem to be any urgency on the part of governments’ to undertake any kind of transition, at all. They simply do not believe there is a problem with the oil supply in the short to medium term. They will probably fail to accept it even as things fall apart around them. You only have to witness world governments’ response to the Global Financial Crisis, to see how the peak oil response will unfold. They will try, tooth and nail, to shore up the status quo, however futile and unsustainable it may be, for there is where power and wealth reside.

    2. The problem is that there is no such thing as all recyclable materials, which implies a continuing increase in the amount of waste being generated (and deposited), and critical non-renewable resources being depleted, in a finite world. This is especially true as it is forecast that billions more people will attain, or closely approximate, western standards of living in the future. All we’d succeed in doing is raise the bar of human responsiveness necessary to deal with the next level of physical limits, and so and so forth, until the system cracks.

  3. eclipsenow says:

    1. By “Breathing Space” I meant *some* more time for society to *painfully* adapt. (I think we’re in for a “Greater Depression” as it is.) That is, there will probably be petrol rationing, airlines going bankrupt, and all manner of funky stuff happening in the adjustment period. But what I am trying to get at is the “Better Place” EV model will act as a slowly increasing ‘depletion wedge’. Are you familiar with the ‘Co2 wedges’? Imagine the downside of the oil depletion arc. Imagine over the next 20 or so years Better Place replaces maybe 30% of our car use, better public transport replaces 30% and the rest is down to cycling and retrofitting suburbs around Village / New Urbanist models. (New Urbanism infilling projects can happen relatively quickly and a LOT can be achieved in 20 years).

    So *technically* I don’t think there is any inevitability towards collapse. But politically, nuking each other back to the stone age over the remaining oil is always possible, even if I find it improbable.

    2. I’m with you on this being a finite planet and with many resources being limited, but what’s your problem with recycling? I’ve heard even quite “doomer” peaknik engineers at least admit that if we had enough energy, peak metals etc is not *that* big a problem because metal is infinitely recyclable while fossil fuel energy is not. As long as the energy is there (and I believe there is enormous potential in a mix of renewables and nuclear) then material resources can be recycled continually. They are even working on drawing metals out of seawater!

    I’m no industrial chemist, but you certainly don’t sound informed about the new material flows being designed. Google “Cradle to Cradle” and “Green chemistry” and see what comes up. As one material becomes rare industry reacts by inventing alternative mechanisms to meet the same need, or designing different systems that somehow bypass that need.

    3. The ultimate goal is a sustainble “Bright Green” civilisation in which the 3rd world have leapfrogged all our fossil fuel addictions and are using renewable energy and renewable materials to live a comfortable, sustainable, “Bright Green” life. This would in turn would achieve the AMAZING goal of a “demographic transition” in the 3rd world. And that would finally take care of the P in I=PAT.

  4. readyline says:

    1. Yes am familiar with the “wedge”. Not sure what long-term use they will be in a situation of constant oil decline, but they might assist in mitigating the situation, if only there was the political and cultural will to implement them. This social inertia is an enormous impediment to real and institutional change. As is our reliance on a broken set of economic assumptions which favours short term thinking, insanity and greed. Perhaps collapse is the only solution to the impasse we find ourselves in. Maybe out of the wreckage we may find our place again in the community of life alongside, and not domineering, other life forms.

    2. The energy solutions you postulate are dependent on a cheap oil and general fossil fuel subsidy, which is abating a great speed. The human systems that rely on this subsidy are already bucking under the strain of stagnating oil production in particular and declining energy potency generally, through the use of inferior, and often dirtier, fossil fuels.

    The concept of drawing raw materials out of sea water comes face to face with the problem of there being insufficient energy available to make it commercially viable, which is why it has never progressed much further than the experimental stage. The task of scaling up is so great, the quantity of energy necessary to extract trace elements out of water so large, that mass deployment of this kind is simply illusory.

    N.B. I don’t have to be an industrial chemist working in some controlled lab experiment to understand that “end to end recycling” is contrary to the laws of physics.

    3. What is the ultimate aim of this “Bright Green” civilisation you portray, with its gleaming towers of glass, smart grids and smart highways, its continued reliance on using up the world and its lifeforms, except for perpetuating consumption on an ever increasing scale to an ever growing number of people wanting to adopt this lifestyle. There simply is not enough planet Earth for all this material growth if we want to keep it as a living place too.

    If the associated problems of peak oil and global warming have taught us anything it is that only through constraint can we hope to prevail as a species into the distant future. Tooling up the world for one more massive bout of industrial expansion in an effort to bring about a so called “green economy”, using steadily dirtier fossil fuels to subsidise it all, would just set us up for runaway greenhouse effect and mass extinction, including that of us.

    Time for mankind to get off the “technological fix it” treadmill and look for lasting natural solutions, where available, to the predicaments we face that don’t involve merely perpetuating the quest for consumption by other means. There are simply too many of us about for that to be an option any longer I’m afraid.

  5. eclipsenow says:

    A lot of opinions there, but not backed by many facts I’m afraid. I’ve been down this road so many times I’m starting to think you’re an old Sydney Peak Oil contact I used to debate. 😉 (SaturnV, is that you?)

    Myth 1: All other energy depends on oil to be constructed.
    Wrong. Once mining, transport and construction infrastructure is converted to electricity then we’ll not only be off the oil, but all future energy production can be via more sustainable techniques. (Whether that is all renewable, or partly renewable and partly nuclear, I’m not convinced either way. Probably a bit of both).

    The beauty of an electric transport system is that it doesn’t care if the electrons come from coal, gas, biomass, fission, fusion, solar, wind, geothermal, solar PV on a rooftop or baseload wave-power. Once society is largely electric, we’ll be off the oil, and even if peak oil were to hit quite drastically tomorrow rationing programs and economic prioritisation would provide more than enough liquid fuel energy to help us scrape our stupid selves into the post-oil era. It ain’t gonna be pretty if peak oil hits tomorrow and we face (for example) 7% decline annually. It’s still a debacle, and I’m not a peak oil sceptic trying to debunk the incredible seriousness of this stupid and easily preventable crisis (if we’d started acting 20 years ago!). I’m just saying it doesn’t have to be the end of civilisation.

    Myth 2: We all have to go native.
    That’s not going to sell to the public, and it doesn’t have to. I=PAT shows the power of the T. If we’re using the wrong technologies, T is a multiplier of the negative effects of overpopulation and over-consumption. If we are using the right technologies, then T is a divider of those impacts. (Note: please don’t think I’m arguing for population growth… I’ve been a member of Sustainable Population Australia for quite a few years now).

    “N.B. I don’t have to be an industrial chemist working in some controlled lab experiment to understand that “end to end recycling” is contrary to the laws of physics.” What on earth are you talking about? Nature is an ‘end to end’ recycling project in itself. We are gradually learning how to recycle more and more products. The crucial question is, “How do I build this right the first time round to make it easier to throw back into the recycling bin or compost heap the second time around?”

    Myth 3: We’ve used it all up.
    Yes we’ve destroyed too many ecosystems and need to start replanting them. Yes biodiversity loss is incredible, and needs to be stopped. This is all part of using the wrong “T” in IPAT. But are you really trying to deny all the changes to Green Chemistry and Cradle to Cradle design that are coming our way? There are new improvements every day. Far from being time to get off the “technological fix”, the T in IPAT is the only thing that will stop 5 billion of us starving to death. And I’m no “Apocalyptic Outsider” wishing for that to happen. Are you?

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